Band faces suspension for alleged hotel theft

The bad behavior of some members of Florida A&M University’s renowned Marching 100 Sunday after the Detroit Classic may result in possible suspension of the entire band from “traveling from Nov. 18 (Florida Classic) through the end of the 2007 Spring Semester,” Julian White, band director, stated in a memorandum distributed to band members and university officials.

The memo gave a deadline of noon yesterday for band members to come forward and admit their involvement.

After the Saturday night performance at the Detroit Classic, the band returned to the Marriott Hotel to rest before the long bus ride back to Tallahassee, band members said. Sunday morning as the band was departing, hotel officials stopped them, alleging items were missing from their hotel rooms, White said. An anonymous source said the maids that were assigned to clean their rooms discovered the rooms had property missing. Body towels, face towels, pillows, irons and comforters were among the items that were recovered, which delayed their return by three hours, white said.

White said the drum majors did a check along with the hotel staff, however the hotel staff was short.

The hotel called the police to monitor the situation as the items were returned from the buses, the anonymous source said.”As of right now we are not pressing charges; furthermore, the school has been very cooperative in negotiations. We have not restricted the band from returning,” said Raynard Lawler, the hotel’s residential manager.

“Some of the property was recovered and immediately given back,” White said.

“Then as the band started to leave I informed the hotel that they still had hotel property on the buses,” White continued. White said they currently have no knowledge of who was involved, but that an “intense investigation” will take place.Interim President Castell Bryant did not discuss disciplinary action.

“I have left it up to band director Dr. Julian White, and Ralph Turner, Dean of Arts and Sciences,” Bryant said. White and Turner spent the majority of Tuesday and Wednesday coming up with consequences for all band members that were involved with the incident.

“Those who are involved will be suspended from the Miami game,” White said.

“Once the investigation is complete the band will make further decisions and penalize those students, and there are plans in place to prevent this in the future.”

The memo White gave to the band Wednesday evening stated that any band member who participated in the thefts or has personal knowledge of any thefts needs to contact FAMU Police Chief Calvin Ross.

White expects for all who participated or have knowledge of the situation to come forward in order to uphold the band’s integrity.

The memo also said that if no one comes forward, the entire marching band will be banned from traveling to football games and competitions from Nov. 18, the date of the Florida Classic in Orlando,through the end of the spring semester 2007. If any rules are broken again, those members will be dealt with accordingly.

No band member had stepped forward by The Famuan’s production, Thursday evening.

While White could not give an estimate of how much was stolen, visual evidence can be seen on