COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--In the latest move to ask for former OSU Marching band Director Jon Waters' reinstatement, the TBDBITL Alumni Club Board of Governors has sent an open letter to OSU President Dr. Michael Drake and the Board of Trustees, asking that Waters be reinstated immediately.
It comes after Waters' attorney, David Axelrod, requested a two-day public "name-clearing hearing", but was denied by the Trustees. The hearing would have allowed Waters to publicly question anyone involved with the investigation under oath, with regard to the report that led to his firing for allegedly promoting a "sexualized" culture in the band.
The statement from the Alumni Club also criticizes the response from the board, saying, "Executive Sessions, refusals to meet, and avoidance will never solve these issues or heal the festering wounds".
Nearly 30 squad leaders also released a statement denouncing the report that led to Waters's firing, with many saying their nicknames and treatment in the band were not sexually demeaning.
Here is the letter to the president and Board, verbatim:
An Open Letter to OSU President Michael Drake and the Board of Trustees...
Our Honor Defend.
How Firm Thy Friendship
Mr. President, our Honor has been attacked and sense of Friendship shaken.
The words of the Buckeye Battle Cry and Carmen Ohio reflect a commitment by decades of students and supporters, their families and friends, to education, to OSU athletic teams and to generations of Ohio State University Marching Band members.
The so-called Glaros Report incredibly and falsely, vilifies the Marching Band, bizarrely claiming the existence of a “sexualized” culture.
We call upon you to repudiate that claim and to immediately disavow this wrongful attack, as we have. You know the Report is wrong.
The Marching Band includes over 240 dedicated students who are living their dream, as did we, in support of The Ohio State University. More than 7000 alumni have worn the Band’s uniform, in firm friendship and defense of the honor of the University. Their legacy and reputations have been falsely dishonored.
Words cannot convey our outrage that your new administration has dealt this unimaginable blow to the Marching Band and our great University.
Why would your staff investigate so hastily, and write such preposterous alleged “facts” and “conclusions,” which have been proven to be suspect – and often false – over the last 4 weeks?
Why place such innuendos and half-truths in a public report, other than to satisfy a hidden agenda? You know the Report is wrong
Current and past band members have publicly repudiated the Glaros Report. For example, five female band members whose nicknames were described as sexual and offensive have written to you, emphatically stating they were neither harassed nor “sexualized” by anyone in the band, and that it was the Glaros Report which first made them victims by subjecting them to offensive comments about their character and physical appearance.
The Glaros Report claims that Band Director Jonathan Waters did not do enough to change the culture but ignores that, in his recent performance evaluation he was praised for remarkable success in making swift and positive changes in Band values and traditions.
The Band puts its true culture on display nearly every Saturday during football season. Its precision marching, musical performances and countless volunteer and charitable activities – coupled with jaw-dropping formations created by Jonathan Waters – require incredible teamwork based on mutual respect, caring and discipline. You know the Report is wrong.
President Drake, we respectfully ask you to do the right thing. You are now aware of the grievous errors in the Glaros Report. More surface daily. You have now heard from scores of Band members and alumni about the true Band culture. The limited charge given to Betty Montgomery involves recommendations for best practices for the future. Her report should not be allowed to paper over the wrongfulness of the Glaros Report.
You can end this nightmare by immediately reinstating Jonathan Waters as OSU Marching Band Director. You can repudiate the false Glaros Report and begin the slow process of restoring the magnificent reputation of The Ohio State University Marching Band. Jonathan Waters is uniquely situated to work with your administration, the current Band members and alumni to restore the image and reputation of “The Best Damn Band In The Land.”
Our honor defend...
TBDBITL Alumni Club Board of Governors on behalf of The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni