NORMAN, Okla. — As fans head south on I-35 for OU/Texas weekend they might see a new billboard, paid for by over $4,000 in donations from concerned Pride of Oklahoma fans.
It simply asks President Boren to “Restore the Pride”
High school band directors who are also alumnus are now advising their seniors to not join OU’s marching band.
Lori Jech, a proud Pride member in the 80’s, now teaches music to high school students in Duncan and Marlow.
She says when they ask her if they should further their music education at her Alma Mater she answers, “I would tell them, under current leadership, no. They’re getting better education at the high school level.”
Jech thinks her students would be taking a step backwards under Dr. Stolarik. She says she can tell from just watching at halftime, current members are not being challenged or even taught how to be teachers in the future.
She and other alumni have expressed their concerns to the university in phone calls, letters, and even online petitions.
“To the leadership at the university, both within the music department and the President’s office and we are very concerned about what’s happening there,” says Jech. “What I have seen as an educator as far as the marching band goes, it’s sadly deteriorated in such a quick time.”
We stopped by Dr. Stolarik’s office today, he declined to go on camera but I asked him if he had any concerns for the pride’s future.
“I think it’s kind of crazy that we are still talking about this. I think we need to move on,” says Stolarik. “I’m concentrating on the students. That’s all we can do.”
Jech says she speaks out in her student’s best interest.
As far as the billboard just north of town she says, “Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.”
In response to the billboard President Boren says, “The marching band already deserves its name and he expects future OU students will continue to want to be in the band.”