FAMU Lifts Marching 100 Band Suspension
The interim president of Florida A&M University has lifted the suspension of the renowned Marching 100 band a year and a half after a drum major was beaten to death with fists and band instruments in a hazing incident.
The Associated Press reports FAMU's Interim President Larry Robinson announced the band's reinstatement Thursday. The scandal that followed the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion led to the retirement of famed band director Julian White and also played a role in the resignation of former university president James Ammons.
Robinson said the university has taking many steps to prevent and investigate hazing, including a revision to the anti-hazing and student conduct polices, student forums on hazing an anti-hazing website, committing money to researching hazing prevention and creating two new positions to address hazing. "It has helped us to respond more swiftly and decisively to any allegations of hazing and any university group, emphasizing our board's policy of zero tolerance towards hazing," he said.
FAMU hired alumnus Sylvester Young to rebuild the band last month. It's not yet known when the Marching 100 band will play again at football games and other events.
Twelve band members face criminal charges in Champion's death, with some have avoided pleading no contest or guilty to reduced charges.