A petition of support is now in the thousands and growing for fired Ohio State Marching Band director Jon Waters. Signees are pushing for the 36-year-old’s reinstatement after he was fired last week after a two-month investigation found a “sexualized culture” within the band.
More than 6,000 people have signed the online petition asking OSU President Dr. Michael Drake and the University's Board of Trustees to give Waters his job back. Petition backers have a goal of 7,500 signatures.
University officials have maintained that Waters didn't do enough to change the culture within the band. However, supporters argue that the culture was in place long before Waters became band director and called the move “short-sighted” and “not in the best interests of the organization.”
Meantime, an attorney for Waters calls his firing unfair. Speaking to 10TV, David Axelrod said, "Jonathan Waters is a fundamentally good person who at every turn has attempted to do the right thing. He loves Ohio State University. He bleeds scarlet and gray, but he can not and will not allow even his beloved alma mater to take away his good name," said Axelrod. "The report acknowledges that although the investigation went on for 60 days, they interviewed exactly four of 225 Ohio State University Marching Band members and of the thousands and thousands of alumni in the area, they interviewed exactly five. So, this report is incomplete and it's one-sided and it's been used to make Jonathan a scapegoat."
Axelrod said Waters regrets not having more time to turn around what the university called the sexually charged culture of the band. Axelrod said it was something Waters was working diligently on and that he instituted alcohol abuse training, leadership training and sexual abuse training.