Ohio State Cans Band Chief Over 'Sexualized' Culture

OSU chiefs say he ignored hazing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Suggested by M Kline
Posted Jul 25, 2014 3:02 AM CDT
Ohio State Cans Band Chief Over 'Sexualized' Culture
Ohio State University marching band director Jon Waters poses for a photograph at the Steinbrenner Band Center in Ohio Stadium before practice last fall.   (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eamon Queeney)

The leader of "The Best Damn Band in the Land" has been canned over what Ohio State University chiefs say is a failure to deal with a "sexualized" culture surrounding the marching band that made conditions ripe for sexual harassment to flourish. Jon Waters' lawyer says the band director was told two weeks ago that he could keep his job if he adopted a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and that the firing comes as a surprise, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Waters, who took charge of the 225-member band two years ago, was fired after a two-month inquiry into hazing of rookies and traditions like the "Midnight Ramp," in which band members march into Ohio Stadium wearing their underwear at most, reports the Toledo Blade. The report says Waters mishandled a sexual harassment complaint and failed to undergo training on federal sexual-discrimination rules. "Jon bleeds scarlet and gray. I'm sure you can imagine this was a terrible disappointment to him," his lawyer says. "But we disagree with the way he has been described, and Jon's going to fight to clear his good name." Deadspin picks out some highlights from the investigation's full report, including "tricks" performed by band members; band nicknames like "Captain Dildo," "Pat Fenis," and "Tickles"; and explicit lyrics to fight songs from other schools. (More Jon Waters stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.