The University of Wisconsin student government condemned the Athletic Department for dropping House of Pain’s “Jump Around” from the football cheer lineup at the Associated Students of Madison meeting Monday.
The resolution, sponsored by college of engineering representative Charlie Sieb, cited the ban on the song as a “brash decision.”
The resolution points to several reasons why the reinstatement of “Jump Around” is an integral part of Badger football, including the song’s national recognition by ESPN as one of the best college stadium traditions and UW officials’ negligence to warn students and fans prior to the game.
One explanation that University of Wisconsin administration offered to explain for the absence of the song is the safety of fans and students. The chancellor’s office told ASM in an e-mail that the stadium might be unsafe for students to be jumping in due to the construction.
However, Steve Malchow, assistant athletic director and athletic department spokesman, said Camp Randall is structurally safe.
“We have a sound facility,” Malchow said. Malchow insisted Camp Randall could withstand the students’ pounding.
Malchow said Athletic Director Pat Richter made the final decision to can “Jump Around” at the stadium. Richter was not available for comment.
Malchow added that the song’s omission is due in part to individuals writing complaints over the years of the stadium’s swaying during the song, especially in the press box.
“It’s not a comfortable feeling (in the press box),” Malchow said.
Sieb said the conflicting reasons for not playing the song between the Chancellor’s office and athletic office makes it seem like there is no good reason for not playing the song.
“It doesn’t seem to be a safety concern, so what’s the point?” Sieb said. He said if safety was an issue, then the song’s withdrawal is justified.
Sieb said that because safety doesn’t seem to be a concern, another safety issue that should be considered is making water more available at a fair price.
“That was added to make something productive out of the resolution,” Sieb said. He said students tend to have tight budgets and some drink alcohol before the game, making themselves even more susceptible to dehydration during the hot, sunny Saturdays. “A lot of people get dehydrated and they can’t afford water. I saw two people pass out in front of me at the game. That’s not a pleasant sight.”
The next step ASM could take is a joint resolution, combining the one sponsored by Sieb and other similar resolutions currently in the works. After that, if the student government’s demands are not met, the next step might be to have a meeting with all parties involved.
“Hopefully it will be resolved before we get to that point,” Sieb said, suggesting the football season might be half over by the time a meeting would take place.
The ASM resolution urges students to continue jumping during the second-half intermission. This feeling is seconded by shirt-makers selling T-shirts online. The shirts show Bucky Badger dressed up like Uncle Sam, pointing and saying, “Bucky wants you to jump around.”
Malchow does not foresee taking any further action to deter students from jumping during this time other than not playing the song.
During the song’s play, it is tradition for students to jump around on the bleachers and, in theory, get wired up for the important and often outcome-deciding fourth quarter. During Saturday’s home game against Akron, when the song was not played, students booed loudly, liberally gave the finger in the direction of the press box, and chanted, “F-ck the sound guy.”
It was only after Lee Evans’ 99-yard touchdown reception halfway through the quarter that the sour gestures subsided, although the booing resurfaced occasionally.