Washington Marching Band Won't Attend Apple Cup After Bus Rolls over During Trip

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2018

Members of the Washington Husky marching band perform before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The University of Washington marching band announced Friday that it will not attend Friday night's Apple Cup clash between the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars.

Washington Director of Athletic Bands Brad McDavid released the following statement on the decision, per ESPN.com's Kyle Bonagura: "The Husky Marching Band is like a family, and we do everything together. With that in mind, the band will not attend the 2018 Apple Cup game in respect and consideration of the recovery our students and staff need following our bus accident last night."

On Thursday night, one of six buses carrying UW band members and chaperones rolled over en route to Spokane, Washington.

Of the 56 people on board, 47 were taken to hospitals for evaluation. The school released a statement saying the injuries are "not believed to be life-threatening."

Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen also released a statement and thanked a local elementary school in George, Washington, for hosting the band members following the rollover:

"The health and well-being of our students is our top priority, and it became evident that our band members need to recover and return home. I would like to commend Brad McDavid, Director of Athletic Bands, for his outstanding leadership, and to express deep and heartfelt gratitude to the people of Grant County, especially the first responders, Quincy School District and the administration and staff of George Elementary who went far out of their way to take such incredible care of our students on Thanksgiving night.

"Many of the most helpful and supportive community members were Cougars fans, who demonstrated the caring values of WSU which transcend rivalry."

The Apple Cup is among the biggest rivalry games in college football, but Friday's edition is even more important than usual since the winner will represent the Pac-12 North against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Washington is ranked 16th in the nation with an 8-3 record, while the Cougars are No. 8 at 10-1.

If Washington State wins Friday and then goes on to win the Pac-12 Championship Game, it figures to be in the mix for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Washington State will host Washington on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington.