OT: OSU band alumni association challenging dismissal of marching band director

Submitted by Don on August 4th, 2014 at 11:02 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The new president of Ohio State University and supporters of the school's storied marching band are clashing over the unexpected firing of a band director with deep roots in the organization...

The band's powerful and well-funded alumni association challenges the findings against Waters...

The alumni group has launched its own review and enlisted some of its most iconic figures to try to get Waters reinstated.

They asked football great Archie Griffin, who leads the university's overall alumni association, to help them get a meeting with Drake but Griffin says he supports the university president's actions."




August 4th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

The Freep thing is completely justified, irrespective of how you feel/felt about RR. They literally set out to destroy a football program based on the slimmest of evidence and it resulted on the first NCAA pot mark on our record. Fuck those guys.


August 4th, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

I guess it's official; anyone who disagrees with JClay is a "nutjob."  It must be nice to be the sole arbiter of which opinions are "right" and which opinions are "wrong."  Here are three "nutjob" opinions:

RichRod may have squeaked 12 wins out of his fourth year class if DB had let him stay and let him offer $1 million a year to a DC of his choice.  

Every time Urban Meyer beats the Wolverines with RR's offense while I watch Michigan play MANBALL and come up short when it counts, it makes me want to vomit.

David Brandon should be fired and the next AD should give Brady Hoke permission to hire a spread guy at OC.


August 4th, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

I had to defriend two people on Facebook after all the rants and raves against OSU's administration and the "lynching" of Waters. Their defense is that it has been that way for a LONG time, not just on Waters' watch.

ron burgundy LNL - Stay Classy Ohio Yes, I said Ohio.

I need to do a better job of managing my Facebook friends list apparently.  /s (not /s)


August 4th, 2014 at 8:34 PM ^

You need to read before assuming things. I went to the same HS as Waters and know many people who are close friends with him. This will not end pretty for the new President. He wanted to flex his muscle and did at the first opening right or wrong.


August 4th, 2014 at 8:32 PM ^

May want to read some articles before speaking. Waters didn't haze or sexually harass anyone. The band had some traditions that some could call sexually suggestive, but Waters didn't as the Director partake. They have rows and the seniors of each row would give the underclass men names and some were sexual in nature.

Waters actually had began to tone down the sexual nature or anything that would be perceived as hazing.

The reality is a girl got drunk and per her words said she was sexually assaulted by a guy who was in band at a party that wasn't involving the band. The guy was dismissed from the band and the girl never pressed charges. Her mom wasn't happy with the dismissal of the guy and went after the director because she feels the sexual jokes and names caused this to happen to her daughter.

I am always blown away by the juvenile ignorance of this board when you mention OSU or MSU. I assume most on here are adults and it is sad that your lives are driven by hating on a school that has no changing effect on your life.


August 4th, 2014 at 11:15 AM ^

from what I'm reading here and there and the rumors all about, it sounds like the band director, when hired, was told of the culture and was charged to clean it up.  And it appears that he didn't make a big enough dent in the problem fast enough, and this is why he was fired.  Is that pretty much the situation?  If so, then I suppose I'm on the fence about it all...its a problem, yes, but if he was working to fix it...I guess it all depends on how deep the issue is/was and how quickly school administrators expected a significant improvement.


August 4th, 2014 at 11:19 AM ^

did you see that he was charged to fix it, and/or that he was taking steps to do so?  The report from the investigation talks of Waters himself using sexually degrading terms to refer to band members, involvement in the replication of sexual acts during band sessions based on those names, and basically saying "welp!" to the investigators when presented with the facts.

Sorry, but as the father of a daughter entering band this fall I fail to see this guy as a role model who should be retained.


August 4th, 2014 at 11:25 AM ^

I didn't want to go into it too deeply because its one of those things I can't provide a link for.  I have in-laws, so not my fault, who are pretty deeply rooted in Columbus and one of my wife's cousins who used to work PR for the Athletic Department.  From what I've gathered from talking to them, he was supposedly working the problem.  Now, that said...they could have been feeding me the party line and not buying into the whole story, claiming that it isn't as bad as the news is making it. 


August 4th, 2014 at 11:29 AM ^

If somebody is hired anywhere and told "you are being hired because we need somebody to fix Problem X," then you had better fix Problem X to the satisfaction of the people who hired you.



August 4th, 2014 at 11:38 AM ^

The "cleaning things up" argument has no credibility when you look at the facts. Waters has been the director for two years and been with OSU for almost 20 years including his time as a student. I'm sure he could have had a list of things that needed changed/stopped on day one as new director. Showing "progress" is BS. That would be like saying I used to beat my kids every day, but now I only beat them every other day, and in a year or two I won't be beating them at all.


August 4th, 2014 at 12:32 PM ^

That would be like saying I used to beat my kids every day, but now I only beat them every other day, and in a year or two I won't be beating them at all.

But that's your behavior that you can control.  This is trying to change the behavior of 100+ individuals.  This is a lot more like: your kids used to not do their homework at all, now they do it every other day, and next year they'll do all of it.  A director can't just come in and wave a magic wand and say "this will stop now" and it automatically happens.  And he can't just fire and replace the whole band for noncompliance, because then he won't have a band.

Whether or not the progress was fast enough, or the right things were happening, I have no idea, and I'm sure the director's idea of progress isn't the same as his bosses'.  But a hard line of "you can just stop it on day one" is going to run you through 365 new directors per year.

Monocle Smile

August 4th, 2014 at 1:19 PM ^

But that's your behavior that you can control. This is trying to change the behavior of 100+ individuals.

No, no, no, no, no. They were pulling this shit on the band's time. Sure, you only have limited control over what people do outside of band, but your portrayal is wildly inaccurate. If you can't put a stop to drunken underwear-clad rehearsals, then you shouldn't be the director.


August 4th, 2014 at 3:51 PM ^

Pulling some of this shit on the band's time.  Now, the challenge.  Is it OK if they do all of this stuff, just not on the band's time?  Because a blanket ban on hazing and a "sexualized culture" during the time they're actually in front of band staff is guaranteed to do very little but move the behavior out of the view of adults.  The challenge is to get them to not do it even when nobody's looking.  Drunken underwear-clad rehearsals are a symptom, not the disease.

Monocle Smile

August 4th, 2014 at 4:43 PM ^

guaranteed to do very little but move the behavior out of the view of adults.

Wrong again. It also ensures that unwilling members aren't compelled to participate by anything other than peer pressure (granted, this can be a big factor). The stuff done on the band's time was mandatory band time. If it's anything like Michigan, it's a class and attendance is required.

My biggest issue is how Waters clearly wasn't doing shit to solve any of this. Just read the initial story. Also...you CAN just "fire" the band. Wisconsin's entire band has been suspended multiple times. There are plenty of musicians at a school the size of OSU who would be happy to take their places.


August 4th, 2014 at 8:38 PM ^

Waters never used the names that the upper class men would give the incoming band members. Most of the issues are things done outside of the directors sight so to speak.

Waters was aware of these things because he himself was a band member. He was working on the culture without a drastic change to avoid the backlash of current members.

More former/current members have came to his defense then the school could get to toss him under the bus.


August 4th, 2014 at 12:20 PM ^

he had been in the band as a student, and an assistant director after that.  After the long-time guy moved on, he got the job.  He'd been intimately involved with the band for literally his whole adult life.  He was fully aware of the culture.

Also, a lot of what he did to try to "clean up" the problem happened in the last two months after he learned of the investigation.

Bando Calrissian

August 4th, 2014 at 12:29 PM ^

What does "working on it" actually mean? It's not like he just showed up in Columbus and had an epiphany.

This is a guy who marched in the OSUMB (and dotted the i for the Michigan game), came back as the band's assistant director, and now was the director of the band. He participated in these shenanigans as a student, turned a blind eye as an assistant director, and apparently only stepped in to stop it as director when he felt pressure to do so. A real model of integrity and reform, this guy.

If he truly felt there should have been change, he could have drawn a line in the sand. There's no "working on it," only "this is wrong, we're changing it, get on board or buy student tickets and watch from the stands." That's what you do when you're a college band director and you have a problem. No ifs, ands, or buts. Remove student leadership who don't comply. Make concrete steps to change the culture. It's never a fun thing, there's going to be pushback, and it may not make him too popular. But when there's mysoginistic and homophobic hazing and harassment involved, that's what you have to do in 21st century America.

For Waters, apparently, it either wasn't worth it or wasn't perceived as a legitimate problem. And that's why he's unemployed. Mike Leckrone up at Wisconsin should probably be paying close attention, but that's a discussion for another day.


August 4th, 2014 at 2:08 PM ^

This guy was clearly a part of the problem and was NEVER going to be part of the solution. Sure he had only been the director for 2 years, but he had been a part of the band for 20.  He knew all this crap that had been going on for years and he clearly had very little problem with it or he would have taken immediate steps to stamp it out when he got in charge. 


Edit: Now, in his defense, what REALLY should have happened is the last director should have been fired and he never should have been hired, as they should have gone and gotten someone outside of the program who wasn't indoctrinated in this crap.  But they didn't find out about all of it until now, so he takes the fall.  Too bad for him, but I'm not exactly crying any tears.  If he didn't know this crap was BS and unacceptable, then that is his problem.


August 4th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

You say its so, then it must be the case.  Look, you'd probably get a much better reaction from me if you'd hadn't been such an ass to begin with...."What the fucking fuck" and all.  My comments previously were a rationalization, I'll agree with that.  Today, I'm sharing my opinions based on things I've learned on my own accord and shaping my opinions based on a lot of information.  Not rationalizing his behavior, nor the boards...just that I'm on the fence about his firing.  You want to disagree with me, fine.  But the fact that you have a differing opinions from me doesn't give you a license to be a dick.

Monocle Smile

August 4th, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

But the fact that you have a differing opinions from me doesn't give you a license to be a dick.

Wrong, sir. It ABSOLUTELY gives me license to be a dick. You might not like it and other people (including myself, retroactively) might not like it, either, but you and they are free to neg away. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to post what I did, as long as I'm not violating the board rules.


August 4th, 2014 at 1:36 PM ^

to try and get along with just about everyone, but a differing opinion especially if its presented in a fair manner, isn't a reason to be a dick.  And the fact that most of the folks here all support the same team, for the most part, is a big reason I don't do so. 


August 4th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

This "I'm allowed to be a jerk because the guys who disagree with me are stupid" attitude is pretty typical of the selfish, toxic, hateful internet culture that results women getting rape threats on twitter and Jewish authors getting pro-Nazi comments on blogs. It is a universal, non-partisan problem that is present throughout the interwebs (including here) and perpetuates itself by asserting that its ubiquity somehow justifies the behavior.

You may believe you are standing for good by being a complete jerk to someone who you think doesn't have quite the right opinion, but by justifying disrespectful, uncivilized behavior toward someone who "doesn't quite think right" you are engaging in the same self-centered pattern of behavior you claim to disdain.

You aren't part of the solution; you are part of the problem.


August 4th, 2014 at 3:23 PM ^


To be honest, I went back and re-read Monocle's remarks, and while he was wrong to be harsh and I stand by my statement about in civility, it was wrong to connect him so closely to the unrestrained hate that is tossed about much of the net. I should have separated him from my general thoughts in that area.