Ohio State Reportedly Fires Band Director After Report Details Overly Sexual Culture
By Christy Strawser
ANN ARBOR (CBS Detroit) Ohio State’s marching band has made headlines with some provocative routines in recent years — including some obviously meant to bait a Wolverine.
Now they’re in the headlines for another reason: The Columbus Dispatch reported band director Jonathan Waters was fired for fostering “a deep culture of sexual harassment.”
Waters was ousted after complaints surfaced that male and female band members had to play together in only their underwear during an annual midnight practice session, new members were allegedly given sexually explicit nicknames, and hung from luggage racks on the bus in sexual positions. Explicit lyrics set to team songs were part of a band songbook, the Dispatch reported.
“In one case, a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on the laps of other band members, including her brother,” the Dispatch reported.
Waters allegedly ignored complaints about several of these allegations from band members and did nothing to stop alcohol abuse on a band trip.
On the other side, Waters was known for flamboyant on-field performances that drew national attention.
Last September, the marching band threw down during the game against Michigan after the Wolverines opened their season against the Central Michigan Chippewas with a halftime show where the U-M marching band aligned to form the script “OHNO” during their performance. It was a hit on Ohio State’s trademark “OHIO” formation.
Ohio State’s marching band fired back during their halftime show Sept. 7.
As the band was taking the field, the announcer asked the crowd if they were ready to play America’s favorite game: “Are you smarter than a Wolverine?” Then, out of the cheering crowd emerged a “Wolverine fan” and an “Ohio State fan” for an impromptu game of “The Price is Right.” The host pulled out a T-shirt (he calls it a jersey) and asks how much each fan would pay for it, before finally saying the actual retail price “is worthless.”
It was on.
Waters’ replacement is not yet known.