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Ohio State’s Marching Band Is A Carnival Of Sexual Horrors, Report Says

Ohio State is making a strong case that it’s the university equivalent of the neo-pagan orgy “Christmas Critters” episode of South Park.

First it came out that a psychology class was teaching students that atheists are smarter than Christians, and now the Ohio State marching band’s heavily “sexualized” culture has gotten its director fired.

A two-month investigation revealed a veritable carnival of sexual horrors practiced in the marching band and tolerated by band director Jonathan Waters (not the flamboyant director of Hairspray), The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Rookies were forced to perform “tricks” on command. In one case, a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on the laps of other band members, including her brother.

Several witnesses said that students performed a “flying 69” on tour buses, in which band members hung from the luggage racks and posed in a sexual position. Waters was on the bus when that happened as recently as last fall, according to Pam Bork, a band volunteer who quit last year.

Bork, who volunteered as a health official, reportedly told Waters on the bus, “If I have to hear the word penis or vagina one more time, I’m going to scream.” Bork quit soon after because Waters would not address alcohol abuse on that trip, she told investigators.

The school’s official investigation report catalogued in eye-popping detail band practices that would make Bob Saget blush:

  • The “tricks” section of the report (page 7) lists what sexually depraved actions the nicknamed rookies took “either on command or at their own volition”
  • An incredibly lewd “Rookie Exam” given to new band members (see in particular pages 15-20)
  • An “unofficial” marching band songbook with rewritten lyrics full to the brim with graphic sexual slurs and practices (some of which could be considered homophobic or misogynistic)


The fired director has his supporters, with some saying the band has been like this for decades, the Dispatch said:

Diana Gilmore was among those who found the punishment unfair. She said similar behavior has been part of the band since at least the 1970s, when her husband was a photographer for the band. She traveled on the tour bus and said she saw lewd behavior. She still has a photo of band members on the field raising middle fingers to the camera as her husband snapped a shot.

“This has been going on. Waters did not start this –– it’s a culture that’s been going on for a long time under everybody,” said Gilmore, whose husband, V. Scott, has since died.

For a quick rundown of the most objectionable parts of the exhibits, see this Deadspin article. The full Dispatch article is here.

UPDATE: The school has released a statement saying that, besides Waters’ firing, it appointed “Betty Montgomery, former Ohio Attorney General, to lead an independent task force, reporting directly to President [Michael] Drake and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to review this matter in its entirety.”

Drake also speaks on video in the statement, noting he joined the school only three weeks ago.

h/t Daily Caller

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IMAGES: Photographer/Flickr, Investigation report screenshot

About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

Add to the Discussion

  • Presumably it was the “smarter atheists” and not the “dumb Christians” doing all this?

    • Its Ohio. There is no “smarter”.

      Go Blue.

      • Rbgard61

        True, Ohio is the cultural wasteland between PA and MI. In any case the Michigan Marching Band is the best in the nation.

        • Of course it is. Fer godsakes.

          • Jaye

            Got news for you, the bands members, like the ballers, are a bunch of thugs. This has been going on for decades. Nothing new, disrespect the girls, the coaches ignore it and we have Penn State all over.

          • Jaye

            Penn State is the poster child for this behavior James V.. How can you not be offended by Penn State. How can you even consider for a nano-second to defend it. So you went to school, what they did was evil.

          • Rbgard61

            For James V…
            The PSU band isn’t anything special.
            Yes, it was a good game, congrats. BTW…how did paterno manage to lose to Lloyd Carr nine times in a row?

  • DaveHuberCF

    Many (presumably) students take issue with university on this. Check out the stories and comments at OSU’s Laern: http://thelantern.com/

  • Albert8184

    And in the US military, this sort of stuff is being treated with dramatic seriousness by the establishment as sexual harassment…. not amazingly. But in college, it’s all part of the liberating experience of a non-judgemental new culture.

  • William Clark

    Only problem is that, if you really bothered to look into this instead of just swallowing the OSU administration’s PR whole, you would find that the “report” used to fire Waters is simply a crock. It is composed purely of hearsay from TWO out of 225 OSUMB members, and three alumni, identified by one of the two complaining students. All positive comments made by other Band members involved were ignored. This was clearly OSU, already under Title IX notice from DoE for things that have nothing to do with the Band, looking for a way to make a splash and show how serious they were about looking correct. They found a scapegoat, and then concocted this phony report to fire him with. It should be pointed out that Waters’ last three performance reviews, one as recent as mid-July, all rate him as excellent or superior. In the meantime, the University has slandered all present and former Band members. Large law suits are about to follow, from Waters and Band members and alumni.