ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida A&M University’s band has made its first appearance in a football stadium in nearly 22 months after the hazing death of a drum major.
The band entered Orlando’s Citrus Bowl prior to kickoff for the school’s season-opening football game Sunday against Mississippi Valley State. It is giving its return performance at halftime.
All performances were halted for FAMU’s famed Marching 100 shortly after Robert Champion collapsed and died following a hazing ritual in November 2011. School officials lifted a nearly two-year suspension for the band in June.
Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter and felony hazing in Champion’s death. Several have accepted pleas and probation-related sentences. Others await trial.
Champion’s parents said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that they were opposed to the band’s return right now.