TBDBITL Alumni: OSU Officials Knew About, Attended Midnight Ramp - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

TBDBITL Alumni: OSU Officials Knew About, Attended Midnight Ramp

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State band members are speaking out, saying that one of the events cited in a report about the band's "sexualized culture" was both known about by many high-ranking university officials, and was attended for years by members of the Ohio State University police.

Former director Jonathan 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 was further alleged that Waters failed to eliminate the "sexualized culture" and prevent it from reoccurring.

One of the events cited in the university's report as impacting the band's culture was Midnight Ramp, in which band members march into Ohio Stadium in their underwear under stadium lights.


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The practice has been in place for decades, and according to the OSU investigation, students performed the tradition without any staff supervision prior to 2010.

But band alumni members are telling a very different story.

"There was no real interaction. They were just there, lining the field and around the stadium just to make sure everyone was safe," said James Lang, a band member from 1996-2000.

The university police department was front and center, according to students, watching the band members perform – many in their underwear.

"They would just stand on the sidelines from what I can remember. They were smiling, laughing. They thought it was fun like we did," said Anabelle Malcolm, a two-year band member.

Malcolm said she wore shorts during her first Midnight Ramp, but felt comfortable enough to wear underwear the next time.

"I did go in my underwear, but it was more full coverage type stuff," she said.

Lang participated in Midnight Ramp for five years, and said there was an OSU police presence each year.

"More than five. I would say there were 20. I would say high single digits, maybe more," Lang said.

Malcolm said he remembers the scoreboard lights and animations.

"The scoreboard was lit up. It had a custom message on it that said Midnight Ramp. I believe as we started the ramp, the scoreboard was playing exactly what they would have during a regular game," Malcolm said.

The scoreboard with custom graphics was operated by OSU athletics and facilities personnel.

The statements corroborate a seven-page document submitted to OSU investigators in mid-July from Waters, implicating OSU police and the athletic department in their knowledge of Midnight Ramp.

The document from Waters was not utilized in the final report by OSU investigators.

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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