Ohio State band director Jon Waters was fired after a 2 month investigation showed that he allowed a culture of harassment and alcohol abuse in which students were told to mimic sex acts, march down the aisle of a bus while others tried to pull their clothes off, and march on the football field in their underwear.
Though the tradition was not started by Waters, a report by the Office of University Compliance and Integrity at Ohio State said he did not do enough to try and stop it.
The practices detailed in the report had gone on for years, even decades, while Mr. Waters, 38, was the band director for less than two years, noted his lawyer, David F. Axelrod.
“Jon worked as hard as was humanly possible, within the constraints imposed on him, to reform that culture,” Mr. Axelrod said. He said he could not respond to specific claims, but he pointed out that university investigators had interviewed five current and five former members, in a band numbering more than 200.
“Several students stated that alcohol use and abuse is a large part of the marching band’s culture,” the report said, a point also made by the physical therapist. Mr. Waters acknowledged to investigators that alcohol abuse was a “big problem,” and that it was involved in the sexual assault last fall of one band member by another, who was later expelled from the university.
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