University of Florida band director says he was attacked after football game.
Following Florida’s 24-20 win over Miami in the season-opener for both teams Saturday night, the Gators marching band director was involved in an altercation which left him injured, according to multiple reports.
Florida spokesman Steve Orlando told The Sentinel the band was headed to the bus after the games when a female Miami fan tried to cut through.
Director Jay Watkins “went out to try to stop this person and when he did, somebody else grabbed him behind in a chokehold and threw him on the pavement,” Orlando said.
A member of the band was punched in the face and had a bloody nose, according to collegemarching.com.
Watkins was treated by a paramedic and boarded the bus back to Gainesville.
“He’s going to be OK,” Orlando said.
The Orlando Police Department told The Sentinel said Watkins declined to press charges.
The Gators marching band posted on Facebook about the incident, but it was later deleted.
Meanwhile, Florida State Director of Bands Patrick Dunnigan, who described Watkins as a “longtime friend and colleague,” took to Facebook to vent his frustration over the events.
“One student ended up with a bloody nose; Jay hit his head on the pavement as he was thrown to the ground,” Dunnigan wrote on Facebook, via WarChant.com. “THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! … Jay tells me he is very sore today and has a nasty bump on his head.”
Earlier in the night, Feleipe Franks threw for 254 yards and two scores and ran for another as the Gators won for just the second time in their last nine meetings with the Hurricanes. Franks kept things interesting in the fourth quarter by throwing two interceptions.