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UC put top two Bearcats band employees on leave two weeks before Cotton Bowl

UC dean broke news to band members in message
University of Cincinnati Bands Director Christopher Nichter is on 'temporary administrative leave.'
Posted at 6:15 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 19:04:22-05

CINCINNATI — Two weeks before the Cotton Bowl, the University of Cincinnati put the director and associate director of bands on temporary administrative leave, according to a message UC Dean Juan Guardia sent to UC band members.

In his message, which sources tell WCPO 9 was sent on Dec. 21, Guardia doesn't explain why Director Christopher Nichter and Associate Director Nicholas Angelis are on leave or why UC waited four days to share that news with the band.

Nichter and Angelis did not immediately respond to WCPO 9's email requests for comment.

Several weeks ago, when WCPO 9 interviewed Nichter, Angelis and several band members, there wasn't a hint of controversy in the program.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us," Angelis said.

In his interview, Nichter told WCPO 9 that he joined UC officials on an overnight trip to Dallas on Dec. 7 to visit the stadium where the College Football Semifinal against Alabama was slated to take place.

"I'll be excited for me once we get back and I can put my feet up," Nichter said.

Ten days after Nichter's trip to Dallas, he and Angelis were placed on administrative leave.

In an email response to WCPO 9's questions on Thursday, UC spokeswoman MB Reilly claimed "as a matter of practice, we don't comment on personnel issues."

UC has confirmed personnel actions against employees, including former men's basketball coach John Brannen and former instructor John Ucker, while the university was still conducting internal reviews of their conduct.

But prior to the Cotton Bowl, UC refused to publicly confirm that the university's director and associate director of bands are on leave.

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