Player Shoves Band Director in Halftime Confrontation

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Tensions are expected to be high when Stephen A. Austin State University and Sam Houston State meet on the football field in an annual rivalry that dates back to 1923. But at this year's game, the 94th in the series, the shoving spilled over into halftime at NRG Stadium, home to the NFL's Houston Texans.

As the Stephen A. Austin Marching Band occupied the field to perform its halftime show, Sam Houston State player Connor Crow practiced placekicks inside the five yard line. When a Stephen A. Austin State band director attempted to take the ball to prevent further disruption of the performance, Crow shoved the individual — identified in one fan's Twitter video as Chris Kaatz.

As reported by 247sports.comSam Houston State carried a 14-10 halftime lead at the time of the incident and ultimately pulled away for a 31-20 victory, scoring all 17 of its second-half points in the fourth quarter.

It's at least the third band-related incident to make headlines this college football season. The University of Florida's band director was attacked following the team’s season-opening win over Miami in late August. In September, the University of Iowa's band alleged harassment from Iowa State fans after the Hawkeyes’ victory against the Cyclones in Ames.

Related: ISU Facilities Head Apologized to Iowa Band Director

On Monday, The Huntsville Item published statements from both schools' athletic directors.

Following is the statement of Sam Houston State's Bobby Williams:

“I have been part of the SFA rivalry for more than 38 years and am very proud of this tradition. It can bring out the best in all of us who participate in college football, however that passion can sometimes cloud the spirit of good sportsmanship. The incident on Saturday was not representative of the values of this team or our university, and we are working with SFA to ensure how both universities can better honor this rich tradition. In addition, we are working internally with our football staff to develop a better transition plan from halftime to the second half in order to give the bands full opportunity to showcase their hard work.”

Following is the statement of Stephen F. Austin State's Ryan Ivey:
"The Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry provides so much of what is good about college athletics. Passion, pride and competitive spirit abound through both institutions. Unfortunately, this Saturday produced an incident that neither institution condones. We will continue to work together to promote positive sportsmanship and provide positive examples to everyone associated with this historic rivalry. I am confident in our ability to work collaboratively to ensure this situation does not reoccur, and I ask both fan bases to allow appropriate and fair action to take place. We can and should be the example of how rivals can work together for the betterment of the whole.”
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