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Ex-Ohio State Band Director Files Defamation Suit

Jonathan Waters
Nick Houser
Former OSU Marching Band Director Jon Waters files a second lawsuit against the University.

Ohio State’s fired marching band director has filed another lawsuit. The suit claims the university damaged his reputation so badly he can’t get work.

Former OSU marching band director Jonathan Waters said he has applied for more than 40 positions at colleges and high schools, but he has not received one job offer.

The lawsuit, filed in the Ohio Court of Claims, cites Waters’ inability to get work as a “result of OSU’s false and misleading statements about him.”

Waters claims OSU continues to disparage him with potential employers. The suit said the University of Washington decided not to hire Waters after Ohio State advised them against it.

Waters wants $3 million in damages for slander, defamation and privacy violation.

Waters was fired, last July, after a university investigation found he did nothing to stop a so-called “sexualized culture” within the band. Waters has vehemently denied the claims and seeks reinstatement in a separate federal lawsuit.

Ohio State said in a statement, "Mr. Waters’ claims in federal court and his lawsuit there are without merit and failing."

Ohio State, which continues to stand behind its decision to terminate Waters, said the university will defend the new lawsuit in court.