Former Ohio State Marching Band director Jonathan Waters formally asked the OSU Board of Trustees for his job back in a Thursday letter from his attorney.
In the letter, Waters’ attorney David Axelrod cited numerous examples of why Waters should be reinstated, many of which pointed to flaws in the investigation that ultimately cost Waters his job.
The letter stated the investigation only interviewed a small sample of current and former band members. It said some of the interviewees have since come forward to say they were misquoted or that information they provided to investigators that gave Waters praise didn’t make it into the final report.
That final report concluded the band contained a culture that was highly sexualized. It said Waters was either aware of, or reasonably should have been aware of that culture, but didn’t do enough to address it.
The letter also said the report was never shown to Waters until after the university “demanded” his resignation. It said Waters was not granted a request of additional time to review and respond to the report before being “ordered” to resign or face termination.
Waters was fired July 24.
It also noted how Waters received mostly praise from superiors in his performance reviews for various positions he’s served while with the band.
OSU President Michael Drake said Wednesday Waters will not be offered reinstatement.
“We thought carefully about this decision and the decision that we made was that we needed to have a change in leadership to be able to change the (marching band’s) culture,” Drake said at a lunch gathering of the Columbus Metropolitan Club.
Waters has not made it clear whether he plans to pursue legal action against OSU.
“I don’t want to have to sue the university that I love,” Waters said in an Aug. 7 interview with The Lantern. “I don’t want to have to take legal action. What I want to do is clear the reputations of those students and of me and of the many alums who have come before.”
Drake said the university is prepared, however, if sued.
The Board of Trustees office did not immediately respond to a phone call from The Lantern after business hours Thursday.
OSU spokesman Gary Lewis didn’t respond to an after-hours email Thursday.