As the band was boarding the bus, a female Hurricanes fan attempted to cut through the band, University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando told the Orlando Sentinel. Band director Jay Watkins attempted to stop the person and moments later someone put him in a chokehold from behind and threw him on the ground, Orlando said.
“He’s going to be OK,” Orlando told the newspaper.
Watkins suffered some scrapes but ultimately made it back on the bus. Watkins isn’t pressing charges but wanted a report filed, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Police said there was no description given of the person who had attacked Watkins.
No other band members were injured in the incident.
“We certainly feel terrible about this happening to [Watkins] but his first concern was about the students’ safety,” Orlando said.
According to Warchant, Florida State’s student band director Patrick Dunnigan wrote in a Facebook post that Watkins is a longtime friend of his and called for more security for band members going forward.
“College football fans everywhere should demand that their universities provide ample security for the band. This is an insult to the spirit of college football,” Dunnigan wrote.