By: Savali Savali III, Your Black World
Florida A&M president, James Ammons, announced at a press conference Tuesday that the university’s famous Marching “100” band is suspended---effective immediately---following last week’s death of Robert Champion, a drum major for the Marching “100”.
The school has formed an independent task force to look into the death of Champion and also to "determine if there are patterns of inappropriate behavior within the culture of the band," Ammons said, as rumors of hazing being the possible link to the students death continue to surface.
The Griot.com reports that a recent Facebook post stated in support of the drum major, "My prayers go out to the Marching “100” and Robert Champion's family...damn hazing went too far. Not a good look for HBCU bands, at all.”
The 26-year-old Atlanta native was found unconscious on Saturday night in the band’s charter bus outside of Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida. Champion was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Cause of death is still under investigation and details of the autopsy have not been released pending further test, but detectives say there is no evidence of foul play thus far.
"We're not giving out any information until we find out what occurred," Pam Champion, mother, said in an interview with Tallahassee Democrat. "I need to know things, and I don't have enough information.”
FAMU released a statement, “We are deeply saddened by this loss. Our hearts and our prayers go out to Mr. Champion's family. This is a major loss for our student body, the Marching “100” and the University.” The university will be holding a vigil in Champion's honor at 6:30 p.m tonight in the Lee Hall Auditorium.