What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Southern University band director fired days after internal investigation

Band director Nathan Haymer allegedly violated state ethics laws with some of his actions

3:54 PMSouthern University is ending an era of marching band excellence after making the decision to fire band director Nathan Haymer earlier this week.

Haymer’s fate was decided days after reports surfaced alleging that the band director had violated state ethics laws by demanding personal payments from organizations after band performances, according to ABC affiliate WBRZ 2. An internal investigation followed a lawsuit in which Haymer was accused of violating a contract by requesting a “kickback” for the band to perform at an event.

Haymer confirmed the termination and maintained his innocence through a statement sent the day of his firing.

“It was my goal to uphold the prestigious legacy of the Human Jukebox by taking the band to greater heights of unprecedented success,” Haymer said in his statement. “I always took pride in being an ambassador for Southern University and at no time did I ever act in a nefarious manner by accepting ‘kickbacks’ as falsely reported by the media.

“Being the Director of Bands at Southern has indeed been the honor of my life and I will always treasure the experience. I leave our Human Jukebox in a better place today in terms of funding, equipment and popularity than ever before. Lastly, I would like to thank the students, alumni and the Jaguar Nation for their unwavering support of me and the Human Jukebox over my last twelve years as assistant director and Director of Bands.”

According to The Advocate, members of the band advocated on Haymer’s behalf, attending Southern’s board of supervisors meeting Friday morning and pleading for Haymer to keep his job.

“I know these kids and I know the love they have for him and this staff,” band supporter Jonathan Dearbone told The Advocate. “I don’t condone a wrong, but there’s so many ways to look at a situation.”

The news is sending shock waves throughout the historically black college and university band community. A 2001 graduate of Southern, Haymer earned his respect from colleagues as assistant band director before taking over as band director in 2014. The band gained even more acclaim under his leadership and finished No. 1 overall in the inaugural ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU band rankings last season.

Clark Atlanta University chooses a new men’s hoops coach, and it’s another ex-NBA player

George Lynch, who played at North Carolina and with five NBA teams, has his first head coaching job

3:54 PMSouthern University is ending an era of marching band excellence after making the decision to fire band director Nathan Haymer earlier this week.

Haymer’s fate was decided days after reports surfaced alleging that the band director had violated state ethics laws by demanding personal payments from organizations after band performances, according to ABC affiliate WBRZ 2. An internal investigation followed a lawsuit in which Haymer was accused of violating a contract by requesting a “kickback” for the band to perform at an event.

Haymer confirmed the termination and maintained his innocence through a statement sent the day of his firing.

“It was my goal to uphold the prestigious legacy of the Human Jukebox by taking the band to greater heights of unprecedented success,” Haymer said in his statement. “I always took pride in being an ambassador for Southern University and at no time did I ever act in a nefarious manner by accepting ‘kickbacks’ as falsely reported by the media.

“Being the Director of Bands at Southern has indeed been the honor of my life and I will always treasure the experience. I leave our Human Jukebox in a better place today in terms of funding, equipment and popularity than ever before. Lastly, I would like to thank the students, alumni and the Jaguar Nation for their unwavering support of me and the Human Jukebox over my last twelve years as assistant director and Director of Bands.”

According to The Advocate, members of the band advocated on Haymer’s behalf, attending Southern’s board of supervisors meeting Friday morning and pleading for Haymer to keep his job.

“I know these kids and I know the love they have for him and this staff,” band supporter Jonathan Dearbone told The Advocate. “I don’t condone a wrong, but there’s so many ways to look at a situation.”

The news is sending shock waves throughout the historically black college and university band community. A 2001 graduate of Southern, Haymer earned his respect from colleagues as assistant band director before taking over as band director in 2014. The band gained even more acclaim under his leadership and finished No. 1 overall in the inaugural ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU band rankings last season.