TBDBITL Alumni Strike Back: Ohio State Officials Knew About Midnight Ramp, Mischaracterized Witness Statements

By D.J. Byrnes on August 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

TBDBITL at Cal-Berkely in 2013


It's been over two weeks since Ohio State fired band director Jon Waters due to what university officials called the "sexualized culture" of the band. Alumni of the band, however, aren't ready to pack in their instruments and head home.

Alexandra Clark a.k.a. Joobs — or "Jewoobs" as she was known in the university's 23-page report against Jon Waters — was the first band member named in the report to speak out against the university's characterization of Jon Waters' and the band's culture.

Today, Rebecca DeMattia, a band member for five years and one of nine former/current band members interviewed by OSU investigators, spoke to Columbus' NBC4 to express her "dissatisfaction" of how her statements were presented in the report.

DeMattia disagreed, saying, "At no point did I indicate to the investigator that Mr. Waters cursed directly at me, as the report states." 

She went on to say, "The idea that he would be dismissive of sexual harassment is absurd…Mr. Waters personally helped in tough situations. Yet, as far as I can see, the entirety of that was excluded from the report." 

In her letter to the university, DeMattia said, "In my discussion with the investigator, I specifically noted that at no point did I feel unsafe or sexually harassed." 

(DeMattia's letter can be viewed in full at the end of this post.)

This is on top of yesterday's allegations in which band alumni claim Ohio State officials, including university police and athletic department officials, knew about "Midnight Ramp;" the tradition where band members took to Ohio Stadium's field in their underwear.

In their report, the university said the event took place without band staff present until 2010.

Again, from NBC4:

The university police department was front and center, according to students, watching the band members perform – many in their underwear.

"They would just stand on the sidelines from what I can remember. They were smiling, laughing. They thought it was fun like we did," said Anabelle Malcolm, a two-year band member.

OSU's athletic director, Gene Smith, told Eleven Warriors' Patrick Maks that he "wasn't involved" in the firing process of Jon Waters, but that he supported President Michael Drake's decision to fire him.

According to Malcolm, however, the scoreboard was lit up during Midnight Ramp:

"The scoreboard was lit up. It had a custom message on it that said Midnight Ramp. I believe as we started the ramp, the scoreboard was playing exactly what they would have during a regular game," Malcolm said.

The scoreboard with custom graphics was operated by OSU athletics and facilities personnel.

As Gene Smith noted in his interview with Maks: Ohio State has created a special committee to investigate the claims of the initial report further. 

Jon Waters unleashed a media blitz last week, saying he'd help Ohio State fix the band's culture, but only if he were restored to his "dream job."

Here, via NBC4, is Rebecca DeMattia's letter in full:


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