The Rice band, called "The Mob," did an on-the-field immitation of the A&M marching band Saturday night in which they played an off-tune version of the Aggie fight song and did an out-of-step block-T, an Aggie tradition.
The Owls band also gave a salute to the Aggie mascot Reveille by forming a fire plug on the field.
Police had to restrain the Aggie cadet corps from running onto the field at the halftime performance. After the game, the Rice band huddled under the south end of the stadium two hours while Aggies milled about outside waiting for the band to leave.
"We certainly did not intend any offense to Aggie traditions last Saturday," Rice Band Director Bert Roth said in the letter of apology. "But if our presentation was offensive to anyone, we wish to extend our sincere and genuine apology."
Roth also pointed out it had been the policy at Rice to parody current events and the band programs of Rice football opponents for the past three years.
The University of Texas band prides itself by marching behind a huge drum which is called "the world's largest." At the halftime of the Rice-Texas game in Austin, the Rice band marched onto the field behind a tiny snare drum pulled by a child's wagon.
"We consider these programs to be tribute to our fellow schools, because only strong traditions and colorful, individualistic activities are subject to parody," Roth said in the letter.
At the halftime of the Rice-Arkansas game two weeks ago the Rice band performed a tribute to the banana, complete with a simulated strip-tease by band members at the end to show that the band had gone bananas.