Decatur, Ga (WAOK)-The Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band has been suspended indefinitely as law enforcement and an independent task force investigate the death of drum major Robert Champion. 26 year old Champion, a Southwest DeKalb High School graduate, died suddenly last Saturday after the band performed in Orlando. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Deming said Champions death was the result of hazing.
The medical examiner says it could take ten to 12 weeks before the official cause of death is determined. Fellow students held a memorial service on campus for Champion last night. This is not the first time the FAMU band has been in trouble over hazing. About 30 band members were reportedly let go from the FAMU Marching 100 this past semester because of hazing incidents. FAMU President Dr. James Ammons urged the entire student body to cooperate with the investigation into Champion’s death.
More on the story here from CBS News
UPDATE: Late on Wednesday long time Florida A and M University band director Dr. Julian White was fired as the fallout from a drum major’s suspected hazing death deepened. Florida’s governor said state investigators would join the probe and the college announced an independent review led by a former state attorney general. White who graduated from the school with a music education degree, has 10 days to respond to his termination.
Band Director Dr .Julian White plans to fight to keep his job. More in this report from the AJC