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Fired Ohio State band director asks for job back

Fired Ohio State marching band director asks for job back, citing positive performance review

Posted on Aug. 14, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 14, 2014 at 5:16 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The fired director of Ohio State’s marching band requested his job back on Thursday, citing what he called flaws in a university investigation and a positive performance review weeks before he was terminated.

Jonathan Waters, in a letter to university trustees from his law firm, asked the board to act on the matter at its upcoming August meeting.

Waters was fired July 24 after a two-month investigation concluded he knew about but failed to stop a “sexualized culture” of rituals that included students marching in their underwear, playing groping games on buses and bestowing sometimes sexually explicit nicknames on members based on suggestive stunts mimicking orgasms, sex toys or body parts.

In an Aug. 4 statement by Board Chairman Jeffrey Wadsworth, the trustees said they “unequivocally support” President Michael Drake’s decision to fire Waters. Football great Archie Griffin, as leader of the university’s alumni association, also backed Drake.

Drake said during a packed speech in downtown Columbus on Wednesday that he stood by the firing and saw little chance Waters would be reinstated.

Those remarks came as the university was releasing a Waters personnel file that included praise for his “courageous” efforts to tackle band traditions, but the traditions being referenced weren’t named.

In 2012, Waters took over what’s called The Best Damn Band in the Land, writing complex halftime shows that drew millions of views on YouTube.

Waters’ attorney, David Axelrod, portrayed the firing in Thursday’s letter as a “rush to judgment.” The correspondence was accompanied by another round of letters to the university from investigation witnesses and other band members who question the university’s findings.

Among the members was Jeanette Town, who wrote that her nickname, Tiggles, wasn’t for a sex act as the report suggested. She added that a physical act she performed with another female band member was wrongly described as sexual in nature when it was merely a “goofy shimmy” intended to make people laugh.

Drake has said he is protecting students’ right to a safe and welcoming environment.

University spokesman Gary Lewis said Thursday evening he couldn’t immediately confirm whether the president’s office had received the correspondence.




 FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 file photo, a section of Scottsdale, Ariz.  floods following heavy rains that left motorists stranded during their morning commute. Monsoon season in the Southwest, which officially ended Sept. 30, will go down as a record-breaker. Meteorologists say some areas in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico received more rain in one day than in a normal summer. The intense amount of moisture also brought flood damage that is still being felt in homes and roads throughout the region.  (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Posted at 6:37 p.m.

Posted at 6:37 p.m.
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