Fired TBDBITL Director Says Not Being Part Of Tryouts Is 'Very T - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Fired TBDBITL Director Says Not Being Part Of Tryouts Is 'Very Tough'

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Jonathan Waters Jonathan Waters
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State University Marching Band took its first step Tuesday toward the new school year without fired director Jonathan Waters.

Marching band tryouts are under way, and NBC4's Harrison Hove was on hand for the activities.

Several hundred students are vying for one of the 225 spots with the band. It's a very competitive process – one that Waters will not be part of for the first time in years.

Hove also had a chance to speak with Waters about his thoughts as the band moves forward.

"I would rather be no other place than with those students right now in band tryouts, and it's really hard," Waters said.

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.

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

NBC4 was on hand when Waters sat down with the WNCI Morning Zoo Tuesday morning.

"I have not had an opportunity to speak to President [Michael] Drake," Water said.

After his radio interview, Hove asked Waters for his thoughts as many of his former students take the field, play and march, during their tryouts.

"This is the time of the year that so many students compete for these positions. They are invested in being members of the Ohio State Marching Band, and to not be part of that is very tough," Waters said.

NBC4 reported Monday that another witness interviewed during the OSU investigation claims that investigators botched her story and omitted her words.

Waters said that is becoming a common theme with the report.

"Further evidence that conclusions were drawn in the report and information was left out of the report to paint the band in a certain light," Waters said.

Hove: "As the director, as the leader of the organization, if there was anything questionable to you, why didn't you just rip the Band-Aid off and say, 'Today, it ends.'"

Waters: "We have done that many times, many times where there has been an issue. For instance, an underground newsletter that I intercepted -- we put a stop to that immediately because it was hurtful."

Waters responded to charges that the pace at which he was changing the culture wasn't fast enough.

"It takes a multifaceted approach the address culture. My philosophy has been that culture change comes from within. If you lead with intimidation and fear, that culture goes underground. But if you are open about it and transparent, that's when the real culture change happens – when the students realize there is a need for culture change," Waters said.

Waters has spoken publicly about his firing multiple times, yet Drake has yet to sit down and answer any questions from NBC4.

Saturday, Hove asked Drake about the marching band, and Drake replied, "Why don't we talk about that next week, then? I think that'd be a great thing to do."

NBC4 followed up with Drake and his staff Monday and Tuesday, but have yet to hear from the university.

However, Drake will be speaking Wednesday at a public appearance at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum.

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.

TBDBITL Alumni: OSU Officials Knew About, Attended Midnight Ramp
OSU Band Witness Highlights Inaccuracies & Omissions In Report
FULL INTERVIEW: NBC4's Harrison Hove Speaks To President Drake At Pelotonia
Questions Swirl About Interim OSU Band Leaders' Participation In 'Culture'
Ohio State President Dodges Questions About TBDBITL Firing
Band Alumni Supporting Waters: 'We're Not Going Away'
Ohio State Leaders Knew Of Midnight Ramp In 2009
Fired OSU Band Director Breaks Silence To NBC4
Ohio State Officials Release New Statement Regarding Waters
Interim Leadership Team Named For OSU Marching Band
Oldest Band Member Speaks Out Against Band Director's Firing

Witness Interviewed In OSU Report Breaks Her Silence
Former AG Begins Investigation Of OSU Marching Band's Culture
TBDBITL Outrage: 7 Days Of Silence From OSU Leaders
Controversy Not New For OSU's President Drake
Current OSU Band Members Speak Out For The First Time
More Alumni Coming Out In Support Of Waters
Former OSU Band Members Protest To Have Fired Director Reinstated
Attorney: Investigation Surrounding OSU Band Director Is Incomplete
Ohio State Releases Audio Of Waters' Profanity-Laced Tirade

Statement From Attorney For Fired Ohio State Band Director Jonathan Waters
OSU Marching Band Director Fired For Sexual Culture Allegations
Reaction To OSU Band Director's Termination Mostly Negative

Ohio State Band Marches On After Director's Firing
Fired Ohio State Band Director Vows To Clear Name
Former Ohio State Band Member Defends Fired Director Waters

What's The Fundraising Impact Of OSU's Firing Of Band Director?
Band Member Referenced In OSU Report Speaks Out
Waters Responds To 'Sexualized Culture' Accusations

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