Colonials Invasion will not take place this year due to nearly $900,000 in budget cuts to Student and Academic Support Services, an official said.
Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said the University was forced to axe the three-year old pep event that introduces the basketball season. Chernak declined comment on the program’s cost.
“Colonials Invasion was identified as one of the campus events proposed to be curtailed this year,” said Nicole Macchione-Early, the director of SASS creative services communication. “As a result, it is no longer being planned for October.”
Jack Kvancz, director of Athletics, said he is not a proponent of the event.
“It’s an entertainment piece, which if you want to pay for, it’s great,” Kvancz said. “It’s not a basketball thing.”
When the University canceled Midnight Madness, a similar event, in 2003, Kvancz’s sentiment was similar.
“All I’m interested in after sitting in the stands for three hours is dunking,” Kvancz told The Hatchet in 2003. “That takes five minutes, and the women can’t dunk. So we have an NCAA (Tournament) women’s team who is very, very good, and nobody’s paying attention to them.”
The pep rally, which replaced Midnight Madness in 2003, featured a Harlem Globetrotters performance last year.
Kvancz said he would open one men’s and one women’s practice to the public 10 days after the first team practice in an attempt to create another spirit event.
Macchione-Early said that Spirit Programs is looking into other ways to promote the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
Midnight Madness, an event many colleges hold, had become less about basketball and more about the side entertainment acts, Kvancz said. The event was first instituted at Maryland and has had its event broadcast on ESPN in the past.
The Colonial Army said they would talk to University administrators about reinstating the event.
–Jake Sherman contributed to this report.