Ohio State University President Michael Drake answered questions for the first time on the decision to terminate the band director. And he says the decision if final. Drake made the statements at today's Columbus Metropolitan Club meeting. As WOSU's Mandie Trimble reports, Drake was met by a group of picketers - former band members.
A dozen Ohio State University Marching Band alumni played outside the Columbus Athletic Club where Drake was billed to speak at the CMC. Some members held signs calling for Jon Waters' reinstatement as band director; others wore shirts that stated "We Stand with Jon."
But their efforts appear futile.
Drake says the decision to terminate Waters was carefully made and it stands.
"The facts are as they were. The decision was based on those facts. The decision is the same."
Protestor and early 1980s band alum Dana Smith says its culture was not as it was described in the university report. Smith noted band members engaged in childish shenanigans when he was in band.
"And that's where the marching band was such a great influence on them, as they could make mistakes and learn from them," he says.
Former band members have said university officials knew about the band's culture but turned a blind eye. Drake says he can only speculate as to whether administrators were aware of it.
Former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery has been tapped to conduct an additional investigation into the band's culture.