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Jon Waters applies to get his old band director job back

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Former OSU Marching Band director Jonathan Waters directs members of the alumni band during an OSU football game against Kent State on Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium.  Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editor

Former OSU Marching Band director Jonathan Waters directs members of the alumni band during an OSU football game against Kent State on Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editor

Former Ohio State Marching Band director Jonathan Waters has reapplied for his position, even though the university has repeatedly told him there’s no chance he’ll get his job back. And the school might be one step closer to guaranteeing he gets the message — a federal judge scheduled a hearing to consider OSU’s request that Water’s lawsuit about wrongful firing be thrown out.

Waters, who was fired in July after an OSU investigation found the band contained an entrenched sexualized culture, submitted a 4 ½ page application to OSU on Thursday for a tenure-track band director position.

“I think that when the university looks at my application — as they will with everyone who applies — they will see my qualifications, they will see exactly what I have done with the band before,” he told The Lantern.

The application opened in December and the university has said it aims to have a new leader selected by February.

When asked if OSU would consider Waters’ application, spokesman Chris Davey said in an email that he cannot discuss the specifics of an open job search.

Meanwhile, Judge James Graham will hear OSU’s case against Waters’ lawsuit on March 5.

Waters’ suit — which is against OSU President Michael Drake and Provost and Executive Vice President Joseph Steinmetz — says he was fired without due process and that he was discriminated against on the basis of gender.

Waters is suing for a minimum of $1 million in compensatory damages, in addition to seeking punitive damages, attorney fees and reinstatement.

OSU says Waters was an at-will employee and that he either knew about or reasonably should have known about a problematic, sexually charged culture in the marching band and didn’t address the problems.


  1. “And the school might be one step closer to guaranteeing he gets the message — a federal judge scheduled a hearing to consider OSU’s request that Water’s lawsuit about wrongful firing be thrown out.” –


    tOSU might be one step closer to finding out that Mr. Waters has a strong case against the university, Drake and Steinmetz.

    Given all the FACTS that have surfaced since:

    – proof in emails that tOSU was very aware of Midnight Ramp as an example

    – shredding of the Glaros Report for the bag of lies/hearsay and innuendo it has been proven to be – just read the well prepared rebuttal response with facts and supporting documents via TBDBITL.com

    – the recording of Drake telling Band members (squad leaders and drum majors) that the issues presented in Glaros were essentially all historic, and then he made specific promises yet to be realized (save for a flimsy, poorly written published statement with no specific address). No wonder he has never been introduced with typical presidential pomp at a game or Skull Session. I think he may genuinely be hated more than Karen Holbrook who also took refuge with a pod of handlers around her all the time.

    – the outcome of the Montgomery Report that said there were indeed some problems BUT the administration has failed to provide sufficient resources and oversight – that expensive report that likely Drake et al thought would be the nail in Jon Waters’ coffin rather backfired. Even TBDBITL Alumni Club endorsed the report

    Jon Waters should have never been fired, and if tOSU administration and BoT are smart, they will use this opportunity to hire him back in a tenured position and quickly settle the lawsuit.

  2. There might be a massive pile of resumes and applications for this job. . .and maybe there isn’t. . .the university should be careful what they wish for. Firing Waters was a bad move, but now what? What sane person would want or what quality of candidate would apply for a job where you can be summarily fired for the off-hours behavior or your adult students. . .behavior that is typical of college students?

    So I think Waters’ re-applications makes a very valid point. There are only a handful of people qualified to run this band. . .some are already on staff. . .most are personal friends with Waters. So the pool is small. Sure. . .I guess. . .they could hire from well outside the organization, but how do you know that will work? As an example from college football, Rich Rodriguez was a great football coach at WVU, but he didn’t fit with TTUN and the Michigan football program has been in turmoil ever since.

  3. More power to him. Perhaps Drake shouldve “reasonably known about and prevented” the fires etc that broke out on campus after the championship game. Let’s hold everyone to the same standards

  4. Waters was unjustly fired in the first place, and the pretext on which he was – the appalling Glaros “Report” – has been shown to be nothing but a tissue of lies, misrepresentations, and distortions. He is uniquely qualified for this position, and his body of work over the past two years (including this year’s shows that he created) has been unsurpassed. Add that to the $30M+ from the iPad commercial alone, and his value to OSU is incalculable. The administration and Trustees need to be man enough to admit that this has been an epic failure on their part, adopt the recommendations of the (properly conducted) Montgomery Report, and restore the best band director in the nation to the leadership of The Best Damn Band in the Land.

  5. People with sex addiction are delusional. This guy is a trouble maker hiring him back would be rediculous.

  6. Bob, when ws sex addiction even brought into the conversation? I swear, the people opposed to the reinstatement of Waters get more and more batty by the hour

  7. I hope they rehire him and work together to resolve this mess! I desperately want to be proud of my Alma Mater’s administration again. He’s BY FAR the best person for the job!

  8. Bob — Please know and understand the facts before slandering someone as having a “sex addiction.” That notion is “rediculous” and consequently makes you look a little ridiculous.

  9. First of all, what “sex addiction” does he have? AFAIK, he’s only involved with his wife. Anybody else, frankly, would be a matter between him, his wife, and maybe a divorce attorney.

    Secondly, might I suggest a spellcheck application?

  10. Someone should be asking Michael Drake why he failed to disclose his financial holdings when he filed his financial disclosure with the Ohio Ethics Commission. He only disclosed his broker, not his actual holdings. He was even a director of the bank that he listed as his broker, so his lack of disclosure is a disingenuous shell game. That bank/broker’s website says they offer over a hundred mutual funds. Included in that list are companies with OSU contracts and relationships to OSU Trustee Alex Fischer and Trustee President Jeffrey Wadsworth’s known-to-be-corrupt Washington lobbyist, McBee Strategic. So what investments are you hiding, Mr. Drake?

    Jon Waters was a scapegoat to give Drake’s buddies at the Department of Education in Washington an excuse to shut down the Title IX investigations so Steinmetz could get his M.O.O.C. initiative moving. Beware of Steinmetz’s M.O.O.C. innovation initiative. Its a wolf in sheep’s clothing IMHO. “Innovation” is a euphemism for steal OSU research, healthcare and student data for Drake’s “big data” buddies in Silicon Valley.

  11. The fact that people in the public now equate Jon to being a sex addict is evidence of just how poorly the University handled the issue. Every college/university is a sexualized culture. OSU needed a scapegoat for their 70+ mishandled sexual assault cases from 2009 to 2010 that the Federal Office of Civil Rights was about to sue the University for. OSU setup Jon with the Glaros report, tossed him to the media, and magically a month later the Office of Civil Rights said OSU is OK now.

  12. Angry Band Parent

    ^Bob. Are you confessing? Because you are certainly NOT speaking of Jonathan Waters – a man who has a higher moral compass than anyone I know. This is evidenced by the thousands of well-informed supporters who also maintain high standards of ethics and moral behavior. People who range from TBDBITL alumni and parents, general OSU fans, faculty, a strong faction of the administration who are embarassed by their university, and philanthropists (like the gentleman who has withheld $150M because of the university’s poor behavior). #WeStandWithJonWaters

    And as for your second point about ‘hiring him back would be “rediculous” ‘… hiring him back would be the most intelligent thing tOSU and Board of Trustees have done since they manufactured this mess of lies and deceit to get the DoE off their backs for their Title IX malfeasance. It would put the most qualified man back on the ladder, would definitely guarantee the future quality and positive changes in the OSUMB, and frankly, it would save the taxpayers of Ohio millions of dollars. With the right outcome and apologies to Jon and TBDBITL, it ‘might’ prevent additional lawsuits for defamation, Title IX violations, and more that are in the works from others.

  13. Ohio State has made so many mistakes in their handling of Mr. Waters. It is time for them to get something right concerning him. He is by far the most qualified person anywhere for the position that is rightfully his. The university has spent millions of our tax dollars to justify their decision to fire him. Their Glaros Report was of the fictional genre. It is time for them to admit the errors of their ways. Rehiring Jon Waters IS their best option to begin the mending of so many fences.

  14. What’s ethically right and wrong and what’s legally right and wrong are two different things. People feel very certain that the Glaros report is shredded and the university was wrong to terminate Waters. I wouldn’t be certain that a judge will see it the same way. Not saying he wouldn’t, but remember a lot of what you think of the report is how you interpret the arguments for it and against it. Can’t predict what a judge will say and as the Supreme Court shows you people can have very different opinions on the same facts. I think it’s a very interesting wait and see. I will say applying makes sense for Waters argument.

  15. Makes sense for him to apply given his argument. I give him credit for being consistent. But this all boils down to the courts. The issue is what’s ethically right and wrong can be very different then what’s legally right and wrong. The Glaros report’s credibility is only shot if you buy the counter arguments. As far as I know the university has stood by it, never retracted it and I believe it’s findings would be part of their brief. Naturally Waters will offer the counter arguments presented. But all that matters is what does the judge think? The Supreme Court shows you the same arguments can produce radically different legal opinions.

  16. Actually I think it would,be worse for OSU in the long term if the courts don’t support Jon. Then the issue would still be left in the air, with a huge number of very angry and frustrated fans and supporters. It would get the University off the hook much easier if the judge ruled that the dismissal was unfair – then they could claim they were forced to re-hire him with minimal loss of face, his supporters would be appeased, and TBDBITL would get back the best director it could have. A win-win, all round.

  17. I’m anxious to see how Drake, Steinmetz, and the Trustees circumvent the hiring of Jon Waters who will undoubtedly be the most qualified of the candidates applying for the job. But when we look at recent history, less qualified individuals with questionable credentials have been hired by the Trustees and they have gotten away with it!

  18. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. When will we be able to move on from this? Jon Waters, take your talents somewhere else, you are obviously not getting your job back. I am so tired of hearing about this! Nothing you can do to change this decision!

  19. Honestly, how does this guy expect to be hired here, or anywhere, as a band director when he is this tone deaf to reality and can’t take a hint?

  20. @Seriously.

    1) if you’re tired of hearing about it – don’t read about it and crawl back in your insular little hole. But there are many others impacted by this who do care.

    2) It’s not so cut and dry. The federal judge could very easily side with Jon Waters to allow the case the proceed, and ultimately there could be a demand for reinstatement AND punitive damages AND compensatory damages. In such a case, tOSU would have no option. All that and millions of taxpayer dollars could be saved by rehiring him and doing what is truly the right thing!

  21. @Serious and Seriously as the mother of a former OSUMB member, I will never get over how tOSU trashed not only Jon Water’s reputation, but my son’s reputation and the reputations of many fine people. Have you read Betty Montgomery’s report? Feel free to pick up the amount of money my husband and I previously donated the university.

  22. How is this job a tenured position, and it was a tenured position for the previous 4 decades or more, but for the 2 years that Jon had the job it was fire at will?

  23. The University can save itself a lot of money if Jon gets his job back. Just admit to a rush to judgment and a deal with the DoE and rehire him. Otherwise, it will have to pay him millions in a settlement. Jon is CLEARLY the best person for the job and has taken the band to new heights and given outstanding recognition to the university. More than that, he has been a leader and mentor for the young adults who are members of the band, teaching them about excellence both on and off the field. If the university is smart, they will realize that Jon belongs in front of this band and no one else can fill his shoes.

  24. Seriously Serious Really This Time

    I can’t believe he can’t get over this. It reminds me of the one friend in high school who lost his girl and still has pictures of her in his locker.Time to move on. Angry Band Parent, Band Parent, man with head in the sand, how do you rationalize Mr.Waters keeping his job? Even if he knew half of “typical?” college kid antics going on he should have resigned once it was brought to the attention of anyone with any common sense. You just can’t have kids, even college ones, saying and printing anything close to what is in the report. I agree with whoever said he is costing himself other jobs by keeping this going. His last hope may be all you die hard Water’s fans starting a collaborative marching band between Solid Gold and Chip and Dale’s and everyone can prance around naked.

  25. He’s pathetic.

  26. Good lord, go away already! He was a marching band director for godsakes-and he got fired. Not the first person to get fired by OSU and certainly not the last. Move on, people.

  27. Mr. Waters will have his case dismissed by the court. He was fired for just cause, unacceptable behavior – both of himself and the band (nude band photos on private calendar, sexual harassment in the band culture, alcohol abuse of band members, lying about his own words during investigation), he did NOT have a contract (employment at will in Ohio is the law which means that anybody can be fired at any time for any reason, or no reason at all UNLESS you have a contract that says otherwise) and he was certainly NOT sexually discriminated against because last time I checked he was a white, middle-aged, potbellied man. Don’t know what his stubbornly blind supporters are drinking but this dude needs to fall on his sword and go away. Oh wait, the court will do that for him on March 5.

  28. Jon Waters was teminated with cause! What makes him think he is a qualified applicant? If he indeed had tenure did he do anything that in the eyes ofd the University is racial Sexual or Physical? If yes it is grounds for termination. Rational and irrational expectations 101! O’Brien also won and lost too!

  29. Waters is THE BEST. I could sense his absence just in the time he’s been gone. Too bad the University doesn’t realize what an asset he’s been, and the networks don’t air the great marching bands which really makes a big difference watching the games on TV.

  30. It’s hard to believe the level of sheer stupidity being spewed onto these pages. Clearly people feel entitled to mouth an “opinion” while remaining utterly ignorant of the facts of the case. I understand that the ill-educated have very short attention spans, and difficulties with long words and reasoning, but at least take the time to read the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s informed response the the University’s piece of garbage that is the Glaros Report. Then read Betty Montgomery’s report, commissioned by the University, before making fools of yourselves on these pages. It matters not that Jon was an at will employee if the firing was unfair, which it clearly was. If you can’t be bothered to inform yourself about Al the facts of the case, just get your check book out, because you are the ones who will foot the bill for this fiasco. The University is already over $500K in legal costs, on top of a similar sum that the Montgomery Report cost. You can rest assured this will not come from the pockets of the administration or the Trustees – the bill is all yours.

  31. It’s hard to believe the level of sheer stupidity being spewed onto these pages. Clearly people feel entitled to mouth an “opinion” while remaining utterly ignorant of the facts of the case. I understand that some people have very short attention spans, and difficulties with long words and reasoning, but at least take the time to read the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s informed response the the University’s piece of garbage that is the Glaros Report. Then read Betty Montgomery’s report, commissioned by the University, before making fools of yourselves on these pages. Montgomery lays the bulk of the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the University and the School of Music for failing to provide the Director,with any level of appropriate support. It matters not that Jon was an at will employee if the firing was unfair, which it clearly was. If you can’t be bothered to inform yourself about Al the facts of the case, just get your check book out, because you are the ones who will foot the bill for this fiasco. The University is already over $500K in legal costs, on top of a similar sum that the Montgomery Report cost. It isn’t going to come out of the pockets of the administration or the Trustees – paying for this will be your privilege.

  32. What The PHR SPHRs Do to many Qualified applicants


    Applicant Name


    City, State, Zip Code

    Dear (we suggest entering Applicant name here):

    Thank you for applying for the position of (we suggest entering name of position here) with (we suggest inserting our organization here). We received more applications than we have positions to fill. After careful consideration and reviewing your submitted application materials, we regret to inform you have not been selected. We will retain your application of file for a year.

    (We suggest inserting our organization here) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

  33. Hey people, wake up. Jon Waters isn’t getting his job back. He’s not a minority. They fired him so they could diversify the band. TBDBITL is way too white. If a minority doesn’t get the job then I will poop my pants.

  34. The tbdbitl.com rebuttal is little more than a petulant 5 year old countering ‘nuhuh!’ to each point. I can’t believe that Mr. Waters keeps pushing the issue with lawsuits and press conferences and that the ‘band supporters’ (who are more like Waters’ fanboys) cheer him along the way. It will only get worse for them all. Nearly nude calendars, partial nudity and simulated sex acts on video along with his own admission that he knew about nicknames based on gender, sexuality, and racial or ethnic group and did not stop them are more than enough to fire an at will employee regardless of gender. Who is going down with the USS Waters? Tbdbitl alumni association? President Gee for hiring him without considering other candidates? The people who were supposed to help Waters teach this young adults how to appropriately represent themselves and the Ohio State University? There is more than enough blame to go around, but that doesn’t make Waters blameless. Drake didn’t plant a calendar of nearly nude pictures in Waters office.

    OSU will hopefully do a proper candidate search this time around and hire from outside the organization to clean house and provide future band members with a positive, supportive environment without hazing, drinking, and verbal and sexual abuse.

  35. So Alum hasn’t bothered with the Montgomery Report, then? And also conveniently ignores the fact that the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s response actually contains signed testimony, references to sources, and correct timelines and attributions – all things that the Glaros “Report” so spectacularly lacks. Not to mention input from more than five, highly prejudiced, complainers (oh, and one helicopter Mom). The calendar has already been discredited as an issue, as have the videos, that the University cannot/will not release to the public. The nicknames are another red herring – Waters banned the offensive ones, and even Betty Montgomery says the others are fine. So, too, once you actually understand what it was, is the Midnight Ramp that Glaros got so aerated about. Sorry, but Betty Montgomery, having done her homework far better than Glaros and co., also thinks there is nothing to that. So really, your whole house of cards comes crashing down, and we are left with just some major chip you have on your shoulder about Waters. Hmmm.
    OSU will find it next to impossible,to replace Waters while the legal matter continues, and that places next season’s program in jeopardy, since shows are prepared in the spring. No one worth the position would take it under that cloud of uncertainty., and in the meantime, the donor pool continues to shrink. Once again, OSU succeeds in shooting itself in both feet.

  36. @PhilbertJohnson and @LegalEagle

    When was this ever an issue of race or diversity? Race was never part of this, leave it out.
    I believe that Supreme Court case “Gratz vs. Bollinger” pretty much sums up that you can’t discriminate against someone in a social majority because you want more diversity. This is proof that discrimination against a majority is possible and real.
    Title IX states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Shouldn’t this literally mean that men and women get the same opportunities and treatment regardless of gender? That is how OSUMB tryouts have been run since 1973, and even before that there was no racial discrimination either. However, the more cases I see the more I find that Title IX is not egalitarian at all; it’s all about promoting women over men.
    Jon is claiming a Title IX violation because in a similar recent case OSU granted a female employee (a cheer leading coach) was granted an actual chance to change things and granted the due process he was denied. I suppose there is a chance that that’s a mere coincidence, but given the nature of this entire issue, probably not. This is one lawsuit that hasn’t even hit the courts yet, so let them decide if his case is valid. I personally believe it is.

    @Confused – Thank you for pointing out that weird discrepancy! Seems fishy to me, too.

  37. My dad always taught me to stand up and fight if I was right and to shut up and take what I had coming to me if I was wrong. That examination of conscience must have been instilled in Jon Waters as well. I believe that he was the best thing to happen to the marching band in years. I stand for Jon Waters. When wrong is right, you can find me standing tall and fighting. Stand tall, Jon. We are going to push until right is right. The current president has a track record of adversity. He, just like a heavy downpour, is short in duration. Keep the faith. The truth will set you free.

  38. For those wondering where the gender discrimination comes into play, I believe a previous article explained that the former (female) cheerleading coach had been given a second chance to clean up bad behavior, whereas Jon was sacked immediately (although if someone remembers better than me, feel free to explain it better)

  39. Jon Waters was offered up as a sacrificial lamb on the Title IX altar by OSU. Mr. Waters’ firing was OSU’s way of appeasing the Title IX gods & getting them off of OSU’s back. I can hardly wait to see Mr. Waters back on the podium in the fall. Jon Waters deserves the position and TBDBITL deserves Jon Waters. OSU was wrong to fire him in the first place. My alma mater needs to right its wrong.

  40. It continues to be disturbing that so many people remain willfully ignorant of actual facts. Those interviewed for the Glaros “report” have shouted that they have been misrepresented. There is no secrecy oath. There were no nude photo calendars. A lot of information has come to light since the afternoon of July 24th. I suggest that a few of you folks read that info.

    Whether Jon Waters was an at-will employee or not is not relevant. The recently announced position is the first time it has ever been announced as a tenured position, though at least two of it’s previous occupants happened to be tenured professors (Paul Droste and Jon Woods.)

    The point is that the information used to justify his firing, and months of subsequent slander and libel, was manipulated and/or fabricated. Almost all of those quoted in Chris Glaros “report” have publicly said “that’s not what I told you.” Hundreds of TBDBITL Alumni members have come forward to say that they do not recognize the organization described in that “report.” Betty Montogomery’s Task Force report is far more consistent with Jon’s defenders than with his detractors. If you read the survey results you will find that women of the band say that the band is the safest place on campus and in Columbus by a ~25-1 margin.

    Every at-will employee of OSU should be watching. If OSU can make up stuff like they did to fire Jon, they can make up a story to fire you, too.

    Jon Waters is standing up for the wrong done to thousands, with the very public support of thousands who don’t want others to know what it’s like to be unjustly accused.

  41. Bullies like Wadsworth, Steinmetz, Drake and Blatti will keep bullying until they are put down. Kuddos to Jon Waters and TBDBITL for standing up to them. These bullies must go, I just hope Archie is not one of them and breaks his silence on the side of do the right thing. Life is to short to cow to such brutishness. Maybe we should change our mascot’s name to “Brutish Buckeye.”

  42. Waters needs to take the example of Tressel and go off and make a better chapter in his life. Tressel’s player’s actions were not nearly as bad as what the band culture and incidents were, and Tressel resigned. He didn’t plea and plea and plea for his job back.

    Waters is promoting a worse atmosphere for whoever will take over the job in a few months. Did anyone hear Tressel go on multiple news channels saying how he would be the best person in the nation for the job, while they were hiring Urban Meyer?

    Waters had an at-will contract as the result of a fluke ‘assigning’ of position from the former OSU president, rather than a processed national search. The culture needed to be changed for the longest time, as its amateur and dangerous antics prevented me and hundreds of other students of ever wanting to be associated with the group. It’s laughable that Mr. Waters says he realized that the culture was in dire need of change, and at the same time, he and the alumni say there was nothing wrong with the culture of the band and all the alumni have been defamed. Waters said the culture needed to be changed slowly. When the administration found out what was really going on, they said, no it needs to be changed quickly. And the way to get the point across of the seriousness is rid the band of the leader.

    Start anew. Case will be thrown out in March.

  43. SeekTU – interesting that you believe that 100s didn’t even try because they “knew” how awful the organization’s culture was. Once in a while someone makes it and quits or doesn’t try out the next year beacause they don’t like it or they realize they need to focus on other things. I’m sure it happens in every group and department on campus

    The same can be said about students who choose to try to go to law school, major in engineering, or become a dentist. They hear about how hard it is, don’t get picked, don’t like the students they meet in thar group, or a thousand other reasons. The culture of excellent organizations of every type will be unique. Making such organizations “give everyone a trophy” weakens them.

    Read the survey results. They thoroughly disprove your hostile culture argument.

  44. Doug –
    I’m saying we knew there was an environment of sexual harassment and a hostile environment, and we did not want to be bothered with it. The behavior was embraced by students, and they feel empowered that it was acceptable, bolstered by the alumni’s unwavering bias. How do survey results disprove a hostile culture argument, when Mr. Waters himself says the the culture was in dire need of change and that HE was negatively impacted by the culture when he was a student in the group? I actually don’t think Mr. Waters is the worst person in the world. But his culture change strategy was too slow, in fear that too quick change would disrupt the positive aspect of the group. However, the change needed to happen quickly for safety and legal reasons. The negative culture was entrenched, Mr. Waters said so on the Today Show, when asked why couldn’t me change it immediately. The firing of the head director is not simply an act against an individual, it is more a message to the entire group that this organization cannot run this way. And the school had the legal authority to do it.

    There are ways to deal with “off-campus” actions that strengthen the on-campus culture… Ones that are reasonable and don’t mean policing every little thing in someone’s life. If someone hosts (or simply attends) a drinking party which includes underage students, it may not be the band director’s role to go call the police, but the band director can certainly strip the member’s squad leader role for not exhibiting smart judgement and leadership by example. Just that act alone would have a great impact.

    Jameis Winston of Florida State yelled something obscene, and as a representative of the team and the university, he was suspended for a game for his “off the clock” behavior. If he was put in jail, that would be a constitutional violation, but the coaches are within their right to follow through with the suspension for a limited access program that represents the university. Had the coaches taken no action, the university is well within reasonable right for dismissing the coaches for that or a multitude of other reasons.

    It might be difficult to completely dismiss someone from the band for off campus behaviors, but not promoting them to student leadership ranks is an easy consequence to implement, as leadership positions should be the result of positive example both on and off the field. If the behavior continues, suspension, and dismissal are the next step, and are reasonable solutions.

    Saying midnight ramp was unofficial and optional, parties are unofficial and optional, vulgar/harassing midterms are unofficial and optional, vulgar nicknames are unofficial and optional etc. does not mean the director is helpless in his or her ability to control what they and their team establish as acceptable representation of the ensemble and the university.

    Betty Montgomery’s shares some positive aspects of the marching band,it also acknowledges that there were many practices and traditions that were unacceptable. As far as surveys go… Hostile environment is not a majority rules situation.

    It is not the band director’s job to stop someone’s individual independent activity, but it is within the director’s ability to make sure inappropriate behavior is not associated with their class, team, band, etc. And it is the director’s call, and ultimately the university’s call, what is deemed appropriate.

    By saying, there will be parties tonight but “it’s ok, you don’t have to go to them.” “Let’s have everyone stand up who didn’t drink their freshmen year, to make you feel ok for not drinking.” That implies that the people who do not stand are equally supported by the band, especially if the number of people who stand are fewer than the number of people who do not stand. The new freshmen member trying to figure out college sees “alright, it’s fine to not drink, but with the number people sitting, I’m not going to have any consequences within the band if I do drink underage.” This is especially true if squad leaders and student leadership are sitting.

    The only way for that activity to have positive impact would be if EVERYONE stood when asked that question. The freshmen would have a much larger impression that that type of activity does not happen by people within this campus group and not only is it OK to not partake, they SHOULD not partake if they want to be part of the ensemble.

    What is deemed appropriate behavior does not have to cross a legal boundary. In the band, jewelry, make-up, long hair, and facial hair are not allowed in uniform. None of those behaviors are illegal. But you will not march if you attempt to do any of those things. Is that oppressive rules? No, it is the established norms for acceptable dress for the group. I suspect multiple members, from the squad leaders on up, would have a fit before it ever got to the level of the director to address it, and then he/she would put and end to it… and you would not march if you broke those rules. Clear message, don’t do those thing. That is part of the culture.

    Giving the message that make-up in uniform is a cardinal sin, but binge drinking parties (who’s participants commonality is that they are are in the band or are alumni), sexually themed nicknames, sexually themed squad “midterms”, etc. are ok (or at minimum tolerated, or given the message ‘well we just can’t do anything about that’) Is a dangerous atmosphere and easily leads to more dangerous situations if they have not happened already.

    The University can ask for the band director’s resignation/termination for many reasons that do not cross the line of legality. And if it hold’s up that the band director was an at-will employee in Ohio, they have even more discretion.

    Jameis Winston did nothing illegal by standing on a table and yelling something stupid. But, the coaches did not have a meeting of the team and say “Ok, men, there are probably going to be people who stand on tables and say obscene and dumb things. But it’s ok, please do not feel pressured that you have to stand on table and say obscene things. In fact, let’s have everyone stand who did not partake in standing on tables and saying obscene comments.” No… they said … Mr. Winston, this is not acceptable behavior to represent our team and our school. You, our star player, are suspended for a game. When he suited up to stand on the sidelines, they said … get back their and get your gear off. What’s the message to everyone else? Don’t do that behavior in your off-time. Culture established, and enforced.

    Mr. Waters and the alumni should be supporting Mr. Waters’ next stage of his life towards something positive. Not crying over this. I think Jim Tressel is one of the greatest college coaches, and human beings, there is. He is a great football mind. He had high standards, structured approach, really got Ohio State (and the band too). He listed off the top 10 things that happen at an Ohio State football game. #1 was the flag going up and the national anthem. The band and Script Ohio were in there. None of the top ten things had to do with football. Jim Tressel was grounded, balanced, and a good role model. He probably did not intend to violate any NCAA rules, and the incidents that happened that were not reported were questionable and some say very minor. But Jim Tressel took his lumps, and went on to the next stage of his life in a manner that makes him even more of a tremendous example. (Now the President of Youngstown)

    If Mr. Waters is so entrenched in the OSU band culture, that he does not think he can do anything else, then I feel extremely sad for him. Mr. Waters got the short end of the stick for mainly other people’s behaviors. The inappropriate behaviors in the band were not impossible to change; they are being changed now (and abruptly), it’s painful, but it’s happening. If the changes do not take hold, future directors will lose their jobs until they do.

    When Jim Tressel was fired, buckeye nation as a whole wanted him to keep his job, but he did not whine and say “The true culture of the majority of the football team was NOT to get tattoos for free. Look, 90% of the current team didn’t get tattoos for free, and hundreds of our alumni football players didn’t get tattoos for free. I am the best person for the job to make sure students follow the rules. I’m entitled to be the ohio state football coach for as long as I want.” And you can bet that Urban Meyer’s current football players will be sure not to sell memorabilia for free services, because there is a precedent of firing the coach for their (again off campus behavior) if they do so.

    There is more to life than Ohio State football, than the Ohio State band. Jim Tressel gets that. I believe there are much brighter days ahead for Mr. Waters, and the alumni should support him as a person, not identify him solely as the OSU marching band director. He’s got more going for him than that limited scope. Mr. Waters will be better for it, and the culture of the band and the university will grow from it for the long term. The continued fight prevents that from happening and diminishes the person, the alumni, and the organization.

  45. SeekTU_Buckeye’s long homily falls flat because it is simply founded on a false premise – that there existed a hostile atmosphere in the Band. I suspect he/she reaches this profundity from a distance, because for anyone who has been closer to TBDBITL nothing could be further from the truth. As a parent of a female Band member, and someone with more than a little experience of the OSU environment, the reality is almost the exact opposite. For a female college freshman, TBDBITL could be a very intimidating organization, but she was immediately made welcome, given all the encouragement and support needed, and never at any time made to feel uncomfortable. It was made very clear that the Midnight Ramp was an entirely optional celebration, that she need not participate, and that if she did she should wear whatever she was comfortable with. SeekTU still does not understand the basic purpose of the Midnight Ramp, in spite of all the information about it that is now public, and with which Betty Montgomery clearly agrees. The friends my daughter made in the Band remain her closest friends to this day. They supported her when she battled illness, took care of notifying instructors, brought her class assignments, and so on. This is not the “culture” that would be fostered by a climate of sexual harassment and hostility, and simply serves to illustrate the ignorance of such a misconception.

    Jon Waters was eradicating the remaining vestiges of practices that dated back decades. He was, however, one full-time staff member, with just one full time associate director, responsible for 225 students, a group twice the size of the football team that SeekTU cites. There were no compliance staff, medical staff, or academic support staff employed for the Band, and Waters was responsible for designing and presenting seven full half time shows, plus all the pre-game and other associated performance of a Band that is the gold standard of college marching bands. It would be fascinating to see our football program operate with such a level of support – I fear the result would not be pretty.

    SeekTU makes much of a comparison with Jim Tressel. What he forgets is that Tressel was not fired because a few of his players fell foul of the NCAA for trading their own memorabilia for tattoos, but because he knowingly concealed their behavior when it should have been reported, and was untruthful when asked about what he knew. That is a wholly different from how Waters handled the two incidents described in the “Report”, and so the analogy with TBDBITL simply does not hold.

    The fact remains that OSU acted without conscience or scruple in using Jon Waters and TBDBITL to alleviate their Title IX sanctions from the Department of Education, none of which had anything to do with the Band. Nor have the administration and Trustees shown any real concern to improve conditions in the Band – if they really were determined to make changes for the better there would have been all the necessary support staff put in place. Instead they have treated the members of the Band like middle school children, with the stick and not the carrot, with the result that an abnormally large number of the current Band are choosing not to return for next year (unless Waters would be reinstated). I’m sure that SeekTU will say “good riddance” to that, but it will help nothing, and simply compromise the ability of the Band to perform to the standards that ti has set. That benefits no one.

  46. SeekTU is absolutely right. I never dreamed of trying out for the band because of the reputation it had. I’m not the only one. I personally know people who sat out certain years based on the ‘leadership’ of certain squads. The stories that were told were horrible, I’m sure what wasn’t told was worse. I witnessed band members coming back to the dorms in tears. I witnessed horribly offensive nicknames and tricks.

    I read the Glaros report and the Montgomery report…neither exonerates Waters, as I said before, just because blame is cast elsewhere than the band director, does not mean the band director is blameless. The Montgomery report, endorsed by tbdbitl alum, specifically described how students are endoctrinated into the organization by hazing rituals and how the hazing to ‘make the band’ discourages them from recognizing and admiting how damaging the band members’ behavior is to themselves and each other. I haven’t seen any credible rebuttals of the calendar and the videos. Were they photoshopped and planted by the university? Were they not really band members and staff?

    What the university did was take a stance against inappropriate behavior in one of our most visible groups. They said ‘we’re better than this, and our students deserve better than this.’ There won’t be a problem finding a replacement, just like replacing Tressel, or Cooper before him, there is no shortage of true leaders who are willing and able to join an organization with problems and turn it around. Now, with the demands on the band members and shortage of university support being illustrated in the Montgomory report, the next director will have support to make changes to the schedule, ask for more support, and inspire students to behave as the mature, responsible university representatives they should be.

  47. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” D. Patrick Moynihan

    If you’re going to debate this issue I suggest you catch up on the latest news. The Glaros “report” has been shown to be an undocumented pack of fabrications. Please use the facts in teh neutral Montgomery Report acccurately (there are no horror stories about hazing in there.)

    If you’re going to perpetuate lies about me, my sons and other dear friends of ours, we will contue to point out factual errors.

    I am aware of three reported incidentsthat can be called “hazing” over the last 33 years. That’s 3 problems out of 7425 bandmember seasons (225 x 33.) Assume I have only heard about 10% of the actual events.that suggests that 0.4% of band members were hazed. That happens to be consistent with the survey results in the Montgomery report, around page 44 of the appendix, I believe..

    The goal is zero, and the survey indicated that a) the staff and student leaders have no tolerance for this kind of behavior and b) women of the band were harassed 25x as often outside of band as inside. How does that support the conclusion that the OSUMB is less safe than the rest of campus and surrounding areas.

    I’m beginning to think you are part of that PR firm OSU hired to coverup the mess they made. You’ve only read the parts that fit the OSU theory.

  48. If Jon Waters isn’t reinstated we need to clean out the pack of incompetents that made this mess. That includes but is not limited to Drake, Wadsworth, Glaros, Steinmetz, and their enablers that sadly include Griffin and Bruce.

  49. The firing of Jon Waters is and will always be a disgrace on The Ohio State University.

    Being a former Frat guy at OSU, if they do not reinstate Jon, then all Frat Houses
    must be forbidden.

    They never stop harassing their plebes.

    Time and change will surely show how well Jon Waters is O HI O!

  50. Waters opened himself up to firing when students, under his authority, were in the stadium in their underwear. Any teacher or coach in Ohio knows that you cannot open yourself up to a situation like that. Education School 101. If I go to basketball practice and let my captains tell other members of the team that we are going to run through the plays in our underwear today to get ready for Friday’s big game, I would be out the door in a heartbeat. Even if the students are over 18, as most in the band probably are, Waters had authority over them and their status in the band. Even if other people at the University knew about the tradition, Waters opened himself up to firing as soon as he let it go on. Although he planned to end that ritual, he should not have let it happen even once. It is not hard to change the culture of an organization if you are the one in charge; all Waters had to say was, “No, we don’t do that in my band,” and anyone who tried to continue the traditions would be removed from the band.

  51. @Teacher

    Your argument is pretty well-reasoned and understandable. However, here is some food for thought.
    1. Why are the directors before Jon who allowed MR to occur not being questioned at all? Why is Jon the only one charged over it after it was allowed for at least 30 years with university approval? I don’t know when it actually became known to the university, but they allowed it. Why is it now all of a sudden a problem?
    2. Many universities across the country host undie-runs. If MR is not allowed to occur, shouldn’t those also follow the same?
    3. OSU sanctions the Mirror Lake jump by issuing wristbands for permission. Most students attend this drunk in undergarments or less. In addition, the conditions are extremely unsafe. Midnight Ramp is completely safe with only one reported alcohol poisoning incident that had nothing to do with MR itself.
    4. Women’s bathing suits nowadays are much more revealing than their undergarments, and OSU allows people to lie out on the Oval wearing skimpy bikinis when its warm out. And there are plenty of men on the beach who wear Speedos, which are more disturbing to look at than tighty-whities.
    5. I was on the swim team in high school. My junior year, there was a last-minute change in our uniform suits due to stock shortage; by no fault to my coach, the replacement suits were really skimpy, almost like a cut-out monokini. We were given the option to order less-revealing suits; some girls opted to keep the skimpy ones because they felt sexier. Not that I’d want it to happen, but why didn’t my coach suffer consequences for allowing the use of those suits? Side-note, he didn’t allow us to wear 2-piece suits in practice.

    The argument is not whether Midnight Ramp was or wasn’t okay; the university could have put its foot down on that a long time ago. It’s the blatant hypocrisy of what the university DOES approve.

  52. Alum – I suggest you seek help for your raging paranoia. There remains only one way to make the Band, and it is not by “endoctrination (sp)”, It is by succeeding in the very exacting and demanding tryout process. I am sure Alum witnessed some of those who didn’t make it in tears, and others concocting tales,of,victimisation to rationalise their own disappointment.
    Most importantly, Alum is completely misinformed about why OSU took the action it did. It had nothing to do with taking any stand against sexual harassment, it was simply a callous ploy by the administration to try to impress the Department of Education that it was dealing with the Title IX notice from 2010 that had absolutely nothing to do with TBDBITL. It is only with such gullible naivety on the part of people like Alum that the University can ever hope to get away with this disgraceful injustice, but fortunately, Alum finds him/herself in an ever-shrinking minority.

  53. Waters did not create this ‘culture”, he inherited it. Just like President Obama inherited the severe recession, the wasteful Iraq War, the corruption and other problems. Bush 2 inherited the “dot.com” crash effects from the waning days of the Clinton era. So why does Waters get all the blame? As for that “obscene college song book”, that was around during the early 90s – long before Jon Waters started his tenure at OSU. We all knew at least the Michigan song – “…hail hail to Michigan, the cesspool of the world!”

    This whole racket reeks of politics. The Ohio State University needs to do the sensible and right thing: reinstate Jon Waters into his job again and reimburse him for lost time and pay punitive damages.

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