Florida A&M President James H. Ammons announced Monday that the university’s famed Marching “100” will stay suspended throughout the 2012-2013 school year following the hazing-turned-homicide that killed drum major Robert Champion in November.
He was talking to the university’s board of trustees when he unveiled plans for the band’s future after news broke last week that three of the 11 persons allegedly involved in the felony hazing that killed Champion were not students at FAMU.
Champion was “pummeled to death” on Nov. 19, 2011, the night of the annual Florida Classic football game in Orlando, according to State Attorney Lamar Lawson in announcing charges against 13 people in Champion’s death.
Since then, all 11 of the defendants have surrendered to authorities in Florida, Georgia and Delaware. The status remains unknown of the two defendants who are alleged to have committed misdemeanor hazing.
The extended suspension comes on the eve of the university’s 125th anniversary celebration in October. The Marching “100” are among the highlights of games during FAMU’s football season and homecoming celebrations.
The university had put on hold all new memberships for clubs and organizations for the Spring 2012 semester. FAMU has not yet announced its plans for membership for the upcoming semester.
Former band director Julian White said last week that bringing the band back would “not be prudent” until reforms happen.