A new NCAA ruling will result in abbreviated pre-game band performances at all Fighting Irish football games beginning this season.

New NCAA Ruling Shortens Football Pre-Game Festivities

Sept. 3, 2015

The NCAA has passed a new rule regarding the timing of pre-game football warm-ups—and that will impact pre-game band performances beginning this weekend at Notre Dame Stadium.

Here’s the way the NCAA Football Rulebook now reads:

Pregame Warm-Ups: Teams Guaranteed Access to the Field: By the new rule, the teams are now guaranteed that they may remain on the field for pregame warm-ups until at least 22 minutes before the opening kickoff. The committee was concerned that teams were being forced to leave the field early because of other pregame activities, and thus were having to spend too much time in the locker room before the kickoff.

Designed to address student-athlete safety and health, the abbreviated pre-game period has eliminated visiting band performances prior to kickoff. The Notre Dame band now will play Hike Notre Dame as it enters the field, followed by The Star-Spangled Banner and then the Notre Dame Victory March as it heads to the sidelines.

“The new NCAA rule has prompted some changes in the pregame routine both for the football teams and for our band,” says Notre Dame associate athletics director Mike Danch, who serves as game manager for Irish home football contests. “We are tremendously appreciative of our ability to collaborate with Dr. Ken Dye and the band to make all the details work.”

The Notre Dame-Texas game Saturday night also will include a pre-game moment of silence for former University president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., who passed away in February, as well as a tribute to all former Notre Dame football players, coaches and staff who have passed away in the past year (those names will be scrolled on the message boards). University of Texas officials graciously offered two extra minutes to the script in support of accomplishing the tribute to Father Hesburgh.

The pre-game flag presentation prior to the anthem features recognition of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the City of South Bend. The national colors will be presented by five of the city’s six living mayors—Jerry Miller (1972-76), Roger Parent (1980-88), Joe Kernan (1988-96), Steve Luecke (1999-2012) and current mayor Pete Buttigieg. Former mayor Peter Nemeth is traveling and is unable to attend.

— by John Heisler, Senior Associate Athletics Director