COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Nearly 30 different Alumni squad leaders in the Ohio State University Marching Band, from 2012 to 2013, have released a statement, saying the report that led to the firing of Band Director Jon Waters was "misleading" and "false".
All of the leaders approached the Marching Band Alumni Association to release the info regarding the changes, and provided documents to back up their claims.
They say Waters instituted a "zero tolerance" policy with regard to sexual harassment, hazing, and alcohol consumption.
Waters was Fired in July, when a report that took accounts from several band members revealed a "sexualized" culture in the band. The alumni squad leaders say Waters was working to change most of the traditions that had been criticized in the past.
Waters's attorney, David Axelrod, says this evidence proves that his client should be reinstated. "Current band members and alumni speak with one voice in saying they want Jon Waters back as the band Director. They think he's been treated unfairly. They think they have been treated unfairly", Axelrod said.
Jocelyn Smallwood was an Assistant Squad Leader in 2012, and a Head Squad leader in 2013. She noticed big changes in the culture, led by Waters, when the squad leaders were on a retreat at the start of each season. She says Waters would lead discussions about the culture of the band.
"Often, the leadership would come to the conclusion that we needed to move past things, with Jon's assistance. If we didn't come to that conclusion, Jon was perfectly willing to make that decision for us," she said.
The report from the squad leaders covers everything, from the "Midnight Ramp" to drinking on the band trips, to hazing of first-year members, including the changes Waters made. You can see a copy of the report HERE.
Both university President Dr. Michael Drake, and the OSU Board of Trustees maintain that their decision to remove Waters was final.