August 2, 2014
Jeffrey Wadsworth, Chair
Board of Trustees
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Attention: Secretary for the Board of Trustees
210 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210
RE: Firing of OSUMB Director Jon Waters.
Dear Mr. Wadsworth:
Please allow me to begin by acknowledging that you are receiving a huge amount of mail due to this most unfortunate situation. Given that, I will attempt to be as brief as possible, but still try to get my points across, hopefully promoting a compete and full re-evaluation of the situation, which should lead to a totally different end result.
I first attended The Ohio State University during the Fall Quarter of 1969, immediately following my graduation from Brookhaven High School in Columbus. All of my family were lifelong Columbus residents, most born and raised there. I entered that quarter as a music education major, following my total ambition at that point in my life. This is important because, as a music major then, I was discouraged by the School of Music, from trying-out for the Marching Band; music is your only priority and you should avoid such distractions, I was told.
For a number of reasons, money and indecision being primary, I decided I could not continue to attend Ohio State. Please remember, the Vietnam Conflict was in full force during that time. Following my completion of that quarter and to assist my financial ability to attend OSU later under the GI Bill, I decided to join the military. I considered two branches – Air Force and Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was “on my list” for two basic reasons, 1. My dad had served in the USMC and 2. They had a very respectable Marine Music program. Long story short, I enlisted for a four-year term in the United States Marine Corps. Thankfully, I did not get sent to Vietnam, but did, eventually, end-up in the Marine Corps Music Program, attaining the rank of E-5 Sergeant (granted meritoriously during my fourth year) before my Honorable Discharge from active duty on December 11, 1973. I then returned to Ohio State to continue my studies in music education.
I graduated from Ohio State with a BA in General Administration Winter Quarter 1976, in the same class as Archie Griffin. Along the way I had made a decision that I was better suited for a career in Human Resources than music. But something else had happened along the way which, somewhat like my service in the United States Marine Corps, had a major, life-changing effect on me – I tried out and made, on the first attempt, the Best Damn Band in the Land, The Ohio State University Marching Band. As somewhat of an aside, I believe I was the first person who ever tried out and made The Band on what we call “Effer”, Eb cornet. This is an instrument usually reserved for senior trumpet players who had somewhat of a “gift” playing in the upper range. I had that from my Marine Band experience. Why is this significant in this situation?
I came to TBDBITL generally older and, perhaps, more mature from my military experience than the normal “rookie” coming to the band. Did I still participate in, what some have termed, “sophomoric behavior”. Yes I did. It was fun. It was participating in harmless pranks, song singing, behavior that was fun but DID NOT pose any threats or bodily or mental harm to anyone. Here I was a 23 year old, Marine Veteran, married with one child, being able to have a great time and performing music at an extremely high level, on par with what we did in the Marine Corps, perhaps even higher in some ways. Were some of those things probably unacceptable by today’s standards of always being “politically correct”? Probably so. Through it all we performed together, played together and carried on traditions together, but all and always in the highest regard for our beloved The Ohio State University. It was honor. It was our pride. Much like what I learned and carry with me today as a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, The Best Damn Band in the Land and a graduate of THE Ohio State University.
This brings me to the disgusting situation at hand. In my opinion, a decision was made by someone who does not really understand Ohio State, had only three weeks on the job, was hired by a Board who, also in my opinion, did not fully vet the candidate based on what we have now seen. He made a decision based on a report which, at best, is flawed at its most basic levels and contains unfounded and misguided information, perhaps to serve one’s own purpose. There is at least one of my marching band colleagues who has done a much better job of analyzing the report from a technical and legal standpoint than I. Based on what that person and others have said concerning the report, I totally believe their analysis and conclusions; it all makes perfect sense to me. At best, the report is not good science.
I can tell you, based on my specific area of expertise in Human Resources Management (I hold an MBA from the University of Toledo in this area and a Lifetime Accreditation as a Senior Professional In Human Resources) the method and consideration Dr. Drake gave to this decision was totally inconsistent with appropriate management practices.
I promised I would try to be brief and I know I am not doing a very good job of that, but I cannot complete this without interjecting one other opinion I have, which I believe has merit for consideration. This opinion deals with the current Athletic Director, Gene Smith. I know Archie gets mad at me every time I bring this up, especially on social media, but I must state what I truly believe. In my opinion, this situation can be shown to mirror, in many aspects, the same situation which occurred in the Coach Jim Tressel situation. Coach Tressel was, in my judgment, made a scapegoat for Mr. Smith’s lack of supervision and appropriate management behavior, like this situation, the unwarranted termination of Jon Waters. Please consider who directly supervises the Office of Compliance – AD Smith. But he “skates” (sorry for the Marine term, yet totally appropriate here), while others have their careers and family lives destroyed. Then we get a guy from outside of Ohio, making this “game changing” decision very early in his tenure. I might also point out here that I have heard on more than one occasion that Mr. Smith is not a fan of the Marching Band and that he even made the statement, “We need to get more skin on the field”. Sexism? From the Athletic Director of the prestigious The Ohio State University? I say there’s much investigation still to be done. Not with Jon Waters, who was actually trying to do something about the questionable things, but others. Please see the attached document, marked as “EXHIBIT 1“, which I believe written by Mr. Waters in an attempt to show how he WAS trying to change things, and was “mysteriously” deleted from the report. Obviously not just a convenient omission!
Before I end, I must make something perfectly clear: Jon Waters is my friend. My wife and I had the pleasure of spending significant time with Jon and his wife, Molly, while traveling with the TBDBITL Alumni Club in England several years ago. He is one of the most decent, family-oriented, innovative and professional people I have ever met. It is important that you know I say these things working closely with judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, fellow mediators, financial professionals and other professionals on a DAILY basis. I knew Jon was “all Ohio State” years before he became Director, while he served as Assistant Director under Dr. Jon Woods and basically wrote and directed the marching portions of the TBDBITL Reunions. I knew then we could not stand to ever lose Jon Waters from Ohio State. Not only was he totally committed to us, he knew what he was doing and he WAS, and still is, Ohio State. We can’t stand to lose him now either.
During his brief tenure as Director, Jon Waters has taken, not only OSUMB, but music and marching band education to new, unbelievable heights. This has, without a doubt, brought more prestige and funding to Ohio State. But you already surely know that. Accordingly, you MUST do the right thing, however difficult it may be.
I sincerely apologize for not upholding to my promise of brevity. I am most hopeful you understand. I totally support the reinstatement of Jonathan Waters as Director of The Ohio State University Marching Band, retroactively, with back pay and benefits, and an official apology being released by the president of Ohio State. The Marching Band deserves this, the TBDBITL alumni deserve this, the alumni of Ohio State deserve this, but mostly Jon Waters and his family deserves this.
I formally request confirmation that you have received this correspondence and that I receive a specific, not canned, response from you. I appreciate, in advance, your attention to this matter.
Darryll R. Bauchert, Sr., MBA, CFP®, CDFA™
Certified Family, Civil Circuit, Dependency & Appellate Mediator in Florida
xc: David Axelrod, Esq.
to, making medical and any other decisions relating to the well-being of the minor child as given above.
R. BAUCHERT, SR. and