The alumni club of Ohio State University’s marching band said Monday that an independent review of band culture is less inflammatory than the university’s internal investigation and should be used to revisit the firing of band director Jonathan Waters.
The TBDBITL Alumni Club issued its response after evaluating findings of a task force led by former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery and determining they were “generally even-handed.”
The club is named for what fans know as “The Best Damn Band in The Land,” which under Waters’ leadership produced halftime shows considered revolutionary.
Waters was fired in July after university investigators found he knew about but failed to stop a “sexualized culture” of rituals. Detractors allege many of that investigation’s findings were false, overblown or misrepresented.
The university stands by the investigation’s findings and Waters’ firing, pointing to the fact that he was an at-will employee whom revelations led them to believe could no longer effectively lead the band. Waters has filed a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit seeking reinstatement and $1 million in damages.
The alumni club said Monday there should be further exploration after new findings of the task force cited deficient university policies, oversight and funding.
The task force said an “undercurrent of inappropriate behavior” inside the band was fueled by a combination of societal pressures faced by students, unclear expectations set by band leaders and ineffective university oversight. Its investigation concluded the band’s culture of excellence, hard work and positive traditions remained strong and made recommendations for improvement throughout the chain of command.
The alumni club called on the school to share the task force results with the U.S. Department of Education, which resolved an ongoing investigation into Ohio State’s handling of sexual assault cases after Waters was fired.
“This should be part of an appropriate, honest, and accurate acknowledgment of university-wide issues,” the group said. It added that Waters was made a “scapegoat” by the university administration “to satisfy its own Title IX compliance problems and inadequacies of administration and oversight.”
Alumni contend had a task force review like Montgomery’s been conducted before the 2014 marching band season, her ultimate procedural recommendations could have been reasonably implemented.
University spokesman Chris Davey said the university is in the process of responding to the findings of the task force, a panel of experts enlisted by school President Michael Drake after the firing.
“The university appreciates the comprehensive report issued by the Marching Band Culture Task Force,” he said. “We are in the process of reviewing the 37 recommendations in the task force report and welcome the input of those who are interested in working with us to address the significant problems that the report identifies.”
Emails Detail OSU’s Knowledge And Approval Of Midnight Ramp
Band Alumni Report Calls OSU’s Investigation ‘Outrageous, False, Defamatory’
Fired OSU Band Director To Participate In Pre-Game Show
Feds End Ohio St. Inquiry, Applaud Band Inquiry
Ohio State Hears From Ex-Band Director’s Backers
Ohio State Surveys Band Members On Current Culture
Publishers Won’t Let Ohio State Band Play Their Music
Former TBDBITL Director Requests ‘Name-Clearing Hearing’ With OSU
TBDBITL Leaders Ask To Be Interviewed By OSU Task Force
OSU $5 Million Donor Rethinks Future Gifts After TBDBITL Report
Former OSU Band Director Talks About Waters’ Firing
NBC4 Poll Shows Ohioans Split On Waters Firing
TBDBITL Members Meet With OSU President
OSU Alumni Threaten To Hold Donations
NBC4 Fact Checks OSU President’s Remarks About TBDBITL Report
Did Ohio State’s Band Investigation Follow Best Practices?
OSU Trustees Say They Will Not Take Action Regarding Band Director
Fired Band Director Waters Formally Requests His Job Back
Jon Waters, Attorney React To President Drake’s Statement
OSU President Closes Door To Rehiring Band Director
Fired TBDBITL Director Says Not Being Part Of Tryouts Is ‘Very Tough’
TBDBITL Alumni: OSU Officials Knew About, Attended Midnight Ramp
OSU Band Witness Highlights Inaccuracies & Omissions In Report
FULL INTERVIEW: NBC4’s Harrison Hove Speaks To President Drake At Pelotonia
Questions Swirl About Interim OSU Band Leaders’ Participation In ‘Culture’
Ohio State President Dodges Questions About TBDBITL Firing
Band Alumni Supporting Waters: ‘We’re Not Going Away’
Ohio State Leaders Knew Of Midnight Ramp In 2009
Fired OSU Band Director Breaks Silence To NBC4
Ohio State Officials Release New Statement Regarding Waters
Interim Leadership Team Named For OSU Marching Band
Oldest Band Member Speaks Out Against Band Director’s Firing
Witness Interviewed In OSU Report Breaks Her Silence
Former AG Begins Investigation Of OSU Marching Band’s Culture
TBDBITL Outrage: 7 Days Of Silence From OSU Leaders
Controversy Not New For OSU’s President Drake
Current OSU Band Members Speak Out For The First Time
More Alumni Coming Out In Support Of Waters
Former OSU Band Members Protest To Have Fired Director Reinstated
Attorney: Investigation Surrounding OSU Band Director Is Incomplete
Ohio State Releases Audio Of Waters’ Profanity-Laced Tirade
Statement From Attorney For Fired Ohio State Band Director Jonathan Waters
Reaction To OSU Band Director’s Termination Mostly Negative
Ohio State Band Marches On After Director’s Firing
Fired Ohio State Band Director Vows To Clear Name
Former Ohio State Band Member Defends Fired Director Waters
What’s The Fundraising Impact Of OSU’s Firing Of Band Director?
Band Member Referenced In OSU Report Speaks Out
Waters Responds To ‘Sexualized Culture’ Accusations
OSU Marching Band Director Fired For Sexual Culture Allegations