Finding replacement for fired Ohio State marching band director taking longer than expected

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In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, Ohio State University marching band director Jonathan Waters leads the band in "Carmen Ohio" following a NCAA football game against San Diego State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Hiring a replacement for Waters is taking longer than the school originally anticipated. As of the end of February, the university has overshot the time frame of four to six months that it projected needing when a search committee was convened in August, a spokesman acknowledged Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 . Spokesman Chris Davey said more than 25 people have applied for the job and several others have been recommended. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Adam Cairns, File)


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hiring a replacement for fired Ohio State University marching band director Jonathan Waters is taking longer than the school anticipated.

As of the end of February, the university has overshot the time frame of four to six months that it projected needing when a search committee was convened in August, a spokesman acknowledged Friday.

Spokesman Chris Davey said more than 25 people have applied for the job and several others have been recommended. Waters has said he re-applied, continuing to assert he's a perfect fit for the job.

Davey said the search is continuing.

"The process won't be completed until we've identified a world-class leader for our world-class band," he said.

The celebrated band, known to fans at The Best Damn Band in the Land, saw its halftime shows revolutionized under Waters. The dancing and morphing figures it recreated on the field, drawn on iPads, received hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and landed the band in an Apple commercial.

Waters was fired in July after an internal university investigation concluded he knew about but failed to stop a "sexualized culture" of rituals, pranks and traditions within the band. Waters and his supporters — including the powerful and well-funded TBDBTL Alumni Club — dispute the findings. Waters has filed suit seeking reinstatement and at least $1 million in damages.

His attorney, David Axelrod, declined comment on the search timeline.

Ohio State has so far declined to release candidate names or applications, citing the open search and lawsuit.

"We don't discuss our hiring process while it's underway," Davey said.

University President Michael Drake has already said Waters will not be rehired. The university alleges in legal filings that Waters made inconsistent statements to its investigators, mishandled at least one sexual assault complaint and failed to volunteer information that could have been helpful to their review. A follow-up investigation said inadequate university oversight and social pressures on students contributed to the culture he inherited.

Davey said the faculty hiring process at the university is involved. The band director position is just one of 23 faculty positions currently open in the College of Arts and Sciences where Davey says top talent from around the country is being recruited.

He also noted that three of the seven search committee members are involved in the band and so faced certain time constraints during the fall band season.

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