MSU Statement: 43 members of band and cheer will travel by bus

MSU celebrates capturing a share of the Big Ten regular season title following a 75-63 win over Michigan.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It hasn't been easy to get to Minnesota to see the Spartans play in the Final Four...even if you're a Spartan.

The university released a statement on Wednesday regarding the fact that the Marching Band would not be on the chartered plane along with the team.

"It is the practice for the Spartan Brass band to attend all post-season basketball tournament play to support the men’s basketball team and fans," the statement began.

"In the case of the NCAA Final Four games in Minneapolis, the 43 members of the band and cheer travel parties will travel by bus due chiefly to the increased need for athletic department and basketball program staffing needs due to the magnitude of the event."

Matt Larson, MSU associate athletic director for communications, further explained.

“In general, the further a team goes in NCAA Tournament play, the greater the personnel needs are to staff and support the team’s appearance, especially during the Final Four," said Larson.

The additional travel time required by bus transportation, which is paid for by the Department of Athletics, will not create additional lost class time for band and cheer team members, band director David Thornton said.

“We are excited about the opportunity to support the team and go to the Final Four,” Thornton said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students, and they are thrilled to be able to participate.”

There will be Board of Trustees members on the plane but the university says that "the number of trustees traveling with the team this week is nearly identical to the number the last two weeks."
In addition, several trustees are arranging their own travel to Minneapolis.