OSU Band Witness Highlights Inaccuracies & Omissions In Report - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

OSU Band Witness Highlights Inaccuracies & Omissions In Report

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Jon Waters Jon Waters
COLUMBUS, Ohio - NBC4 has obtained a letter written by one of the nine witnesses interviewed in the original investigation that resulted in the firing of band director Jonathan Waters.

Waters was fired on July 24 after a two-month investigation by the Office of the University Compliance.

The Ohio State investigation allegedly revealed cultural issues that Waters was allegedly aware of or should have been aware of. It is further alleged that Waters failed to eliminate the "sexualized culture" and prevent it from reoccurring.

LINK: Ohio State Marching Band Culture
: Ohio State Marching Band Investigation Report
AUDIO: Listen To 'Tirade' Recording (WARNING: Profanity included)

NBC4 obtained a copy of the letter sent from Rebecca DeMattia to the university.

DeMattia, a five-year marching band member, was one of five alumni interviewed by OSU investigators.

In her letter, DeMattia said investigators botched her quotes and omitted any information that could conflict with their findings.

"I want to express dissatisfaction regarding how my statements were presented in the report," she said.

The OSU report claims that Waters cursed at DeMattia after she turned in what was supposed to be an anonymous mid-season evaluation.

DeMattia disagreed, saying, "At no point did I indicate to the investigator that Mr. Waters cursed directly at me, as the report states."

She went on to say, "The idea that he would be dismissive of sexual harassment is absurd…Mr. Waters personally helped in tough situations. Yet, as far as I can see, the entirety of that was excluded from the report."

In her letter to the university, DeMattia said, "In my discussion with the investigator, I specifically noted that at no point did I feel unsafe or sexually harassed."

As a squad leader, she was privy to special training that the most senior marching band members receive. She said, "I can tell you the elimination of hazing, alcohol abuse, and overall cultural change were items that Mr. Waters worked very hard to achieve."

She calls out the university for a complete willingness by the university to simply ignore evidence, finally asking the university to correct its "rushed" actions by reinstating Waters.

DeMattia is the second marching band alumnus interviewed by investigators to come forward with claims that investigators misrepresented her words in their final report. Read her full letter below.

Former and current band members have spoken out in favor of Waters, saying that the university overreacted to the concerns of a few, and that Waters was working to correct some of the questionable, decades-old traditions.

The investigation report released by the university outlined numerous activities that related to the band's culture, including Midnight Ramp, nicknames, Rookie Introductions, Rookie Midterms and Physical Challenges, Trip Tic, Songbook, and other misconduct and conditions on buses.

Current and former band members have said the report is an exaggeration, and more than 11,400 supporters have signed an online petition to have Waters reinstated.

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