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WITN?: Ohio State marching band alumni release report criticizing Jon Waters' firing

All the big Ohio State news in one helpful place.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

"The claim...that the [OSU Marching Band] functions in a unique "sexualized" culture within the University is unsupported, false, and illogical."

-TBDBITL Alumni Club's Investigative Report on Jonathan Waters

Since the firing of OSU marching band director Jon Waters on July 24th, the band's Alumni Club has been conducting their own investigation into the charges leveled against Waters--namely, that he knowingly allowed a culture promoting sexual harassment to exist within the band and did not take adequate steps to stop it. Since the Alumni Club announced that their own report would be forthcoming, it was largely expected that the band's findings would not match those of the University. That has proven to be a prudent estimation of the results.

TBDBITL's report claims, among other things, that the University acted against Waters to save face in light of their own violations of Title IX compliance--i.e., that Waters was nothing more than the proverbial "fall guy" for the school. The report says that the firing happened "at the expense of due process and fundamental fairness to...Jonathan Waters." Other highlights from the full report include:

  • The "shame" now associated with the marching band, and the negative impact this has on the school's culture as a whole
  • That band members have felt repeatedly victimized, not by one another or Waters, but by the school's investigation
  • A call for immediate reinstatement of Waters, and a public disavowal of the previous report's findings
It will be interesting to see how Waters is received in light of the band's internal reporting. Waters will march with the Alumni Band into Ohio Stadium this Saturday, his first time back in the stadium since his firing.

"Don't be surprised if Kent State and opponents the rest of this season roll the dice and blitz the Buckeye offense."

- Andrew Moses, former OSU offensive lineman, for Cleveland.com

In this week's "Chalk Talk," former lineman Andrew Moses (2005-2009) breaks down one of the only positive plays from last week's Virginia Tech debacle. When J.T. Barrett hit Michael Thomas for a 53-yard catch-and-run TD in the third quarter, it demonstrated one of the few times that Barrett and his offensive line successfully attacked the vaunted "Bear" front and "Cover 0" scheme used by VT.

Barrett simplified his pre-snap reads on the play, allowing the line to settle in and pick up the Hokies' gap blitz. The play also exposed one of the weaknesses of the Cover 0, in that Thomas only had to break one tackle on his way to the house. Virginia Tech's scheme commits heavily to the pass rush, and in that instance Barrett's quick assessment of the blitz allowed him to exploit the defense.

Still, the Hokies brought Barrett down for sacks seven times during the contest. By bringing constant pressure from multiple angles, they were able to disrupt the Buckeyes' offensive rhythm and force Barrett into a number of poor decisions with the football.

"True Michigan fans are angry, of course, and the "kids" aren't the ones in their crosshairs."

-Matt Hinton, Grantland

Your weekly does of Michigan Schadenfreude: this excellent piece from Grantland, detailing Brady Hoke's fast-track to the coaching hot seat. Hoke, who had such a spectacular coming-out party for the Wolverines in 2011, has been decidedly "meh" in the years since. Every year, we're told, is the year that Michigan finally makes the leap. Finally earns their lofty pre-season ranking. And every year, those of us who chose the better side get to smile a little wider as that dream comes crashing back to earth.

It's more fun now than I can remember it being in a while. Is it, as Hinton puts it, the fact that Hoke's "tough talk is easily dismissed as a shibboleth in the face of diminishing returns"? Is it that Hoke is the only Wolverine coach to have beaten the Buckeyes in a decade, and we're hungry to see him fail? Is it that Hoke was showered early with insufferable headlines like Mitch Albom's "Meat man Brady Hoke is the beef Michigan wanted"? Whatever the reason, it makes me unabashedly happy to be an Ohio State fan.

All of Hoke's tough talk won't be worth much if he can't save this season for the Wolverines. They've already taken a pretty severe drubbing at the hands of Notre Dame, and if Michigan can't beat at least one of Ohio State and Michigan State, Hoke might be looking for a new job come January.

"Are we discouraged about the game? Absolutely. Could we have played better...absolutely. But do we still have a chance to be outstanding? I believe so, and we all think so."

-OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash, via BuckeyeXtra

The weaknesses of Ohio State's defense were obvious in the dismal loss to Virginia Tech last Saturday. Still, co-DC Chris Ash believes there is light at the end of the tunnel. Ash cited the fact that the defense spent a good deal of time preparing for Navy's triple-option attack heading into the season, and therefore only had a short time to get ready for Virginia Tech's more balanced attack.

That the unit was under-prepared was most obvious on third downs. The Hokies converted a whopping nine-of-seventeen third down chances, most of them through the air. The most upsetting of these came on a third and seventeen with Virginia Tech backed up on their own four yard line. The Hokies got eighteen on that play and kept the drive alive.

The game wasn't without defensive bright spots, including two interceptions and a Joey Bosa strip-sack. These are the foundations that Ash and Luke Fickell will look to build on as the season progresses, as they try to make the defensive unit "outstanding" once more.

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