One of Texas A&M's distinct gameday traditions are its Yell Leaders, which are all-male cheerleaders that conjure up images of the 1940s rather than the house music and heavily choreographed dance and cheer teams that adorn most college sidelines - and are predominantly female - in 2012.
But a debate is raging amongst the Aggies to possibly allow a female dance squad on the sidelines of Kyle Field in the future, as profiled by the Houston Chronicle:
A&M, which is exiting the Big 12 and entering the Southeastern Conference this summer, has never had a women's dance team or even a women's spirit squad perform at Kyle Field, the Aggies' football home since 1905. The topic is up for discussion among A&M's leaders - but it's in its early stage.
"Any time we look at an issue of this nature, our response is always going to be, how does it affect the game-day atmosphere at Kyle Field, and would it infringe upon our traditions or our uniqueness," said Jason Cook, A&M's vice president for marketing and communications. "We take decisions of this nature very seriously and very deliberately."
To the rest of the country, such an issue simply isn't one, but among the Ags it's a hotly debated topic, with some fans and alumni threatening to hold up newspapers to "ignore" the female dancers - this tactic was used when a female dance team first appeared at A&M basketball games 20 years ago (so maybe they should hold up iPads now?).
While the "debate" over a "tradition" is ripe for jest on a national stage, once A&M enters the SEC officially this summer, male-only cheer squads won't even break the Top 10 "Bizarre, intensely debated traditions" ranking in Speed Country.
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