Lions’ Raiola accused of verbally abusing Wisconsin band

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions said Monday they are investigating whether center Dominic Raiola verbally abused members of the University of Wisconsin marching band during Detroit’s game at Green Bay over the weekend.

The band was at Lambeau Field to perform during and after Sunday’s game, won by the Packers.

“We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band,” the Lions said in a statement without disclosing details. “Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization. We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate.”

Raiola, a 13-year veteran, is the longest-tenured member on the Lions roster. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said he did not hear or see Raiola talking to band members, but he would be disappointed if the reports are true.

Lori Berquam, the university’s dean of students, and band director Mike Leckrone said they heard Monday from Lions President Tom Lewand.

“He has apologized for the actions of his player and has assured us that further discussion will take place,” they said. “Special opportunities such as playing before a Packers game are highlights for our band members: something they look forward to, and that we hope they will remember with pride. We are proud of the way members of the UW Band have brought this matter to our attention.”

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