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UNF Spinnaker

Band peps up UNF spirit

UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon has brought on another addition to the men’s and women’s basketball programs which he believes will contribute to their success – a pep band.

Moon began the formation of the UNF Osprey Band in late July and is making preparations to have the band ready for the 2009-2010 men’s and women’s seasons. The band will be under the direction of UNF professor Mark Dickman, who led UNF’s previous pep band from 1994 to 2002. The band will go by the unofficial nickname of the Awesome Osprey Band, Dickman said.

The pep band will play at a majority of UNF’s men’s and women’s home basketball games and will also travel to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in March.

UNF’s previous pep band dissolved after the university, and the band came into conflict over whether or not students should receive scholarships to play.

“When I first decided to form the pep band, I met with Dr. Dickman, and we took a long look at what it would take to fund a good band,” Moon said. “I wanted to make sure they had everything they needed to be able to put on their best performance every game.”

Students who play in the band will be required to register for a pep band class in the spring semester, for which they will receive one credit. Along with the class credit, students who participate in the band will receive a $400 academic scholarship.

Dickman is looking to have 30 students in the band but said that if he recruits more than 30 than any student is more than welcome. The reason for the 30-person number is that NCAA restrictions only allow a maximum of 30 band members to perform for any one school during post-season play. For a majority of the band’s positions, the only requirement is that the student performed in their high school’s band. However, the positions that are members of the band’s rhythm section must audition for their spot.

“Not only is the band a great opportunity to make

UNF basketball more exciting,” UNF men’s basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll

said. “It’s a great way to involve students who may not of been interested in coming to games in the past and get them to be part of the Osprey experience.”

Moon and Driscoll both said the band will play an important part in getting the crowd, especially the newly formed student section, more involved in the game and create a better Division I atmosphere.

“It’s a great way to fill in voids and gaps in action that timeouts cause,” Driscoll said.

The band is preparing an assortment of over 60 songs to play throughout the course of the season, which Moon will get to monitor to help create the Division I atmosphere that he envisions.

“We’re going to play songs that the kids will know and will get up and make them move,” Dickman said. “We’re planning on playing everything from the classics to Beyonce.”

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