OSU's band director ousted; local alumni react - KCTV5

OSU's band director ousted; local alumni react

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Waters and an excerpt of the report that led to his firing. Waters and an excerpt of the report that led to his firing.
(FOX19) -

The firing of Ohio State's band director caught the attention of many local alumni.

"It kind of felt like a stake to the heart like what's going on," said Joe Koehne.
 
Joe Koehne played a pretty recognizable instrument during his time at Ohio State. From '91 to '93 he was a sousaphone player, the same instrument given to the person who "dots the I".

Jonathan Waters took over as band director in 2012 and was ousted Thursday for ignoring a "sexualized" culture within the band, according to the university. Although Koehne didn't play for Waters, Koehne says he's gotten to know him over the years.

[Related: Ohio State marching band chief fired after probe]

"I've met him several times and to read some of the things that were being said about him, I found it really hard to take and hard to believe. He's always had the best interest of the band at heart," said Koehne.
 
When it comes to marching in underwear or sexually explicit tricks or games that were alleged, Koehne doesn't deny some of this controversial behavior during his time in the band.
 
"The things that you read about, yeah I saw them but I want everyone to know this, in no way was I forced or coerced to take part in any of it," said Koehne.
 
But who's to blame?

Koehne says it's not just Ohio State's band doing this stuff. He says there's college students all across the nation, involved in sports, Greek life, or other clubs that are just as involved with these antics. 
 
"Do you totally fault the director for it, I don't think so. We have to remember that these kids that are in the band, they're not kids, they're legal adults. I think this is more a question of what needs to change, what needs to happen in the college experience," said Koehne.
 
Koehne says he's looking forward to going back to Columbus in September for the alumni reunion and he plans on once again march on that field.

The university will hire an interim band director soon. The school plans to look at both internal and external candidates.

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