Ex-OSU band director sues, alleges discrimination

Jonathan Waters, file.
Jonathan Waters, file.


Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Fired Ohio State marching band director Jonathan Waters has filed a federal lawsuit requesting reinstatement on grounds that the university denied him due process.

The lawsuit also alleges that the school, President Michael Drake and a provost engaged in sexual discrimination by denying him a second chance given a similarly-disciplined female employee.

Ohio State called the claims baseless.

The 38-year-old Waters told reporters Friday he wants mainly to restore the band's reputation.

A two-month investigation before his July 24 firing concluded Waters knew about but didn't stop a "sexualized" band culture of rituals that included partially-clad marching, groping games and sometimes explicit nicknames.

Waters' attorneys told the court the report has been largely discredited. The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $1 million in compensatory damages and a court-ordered name-clearing hearing.

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