Officials Urge FAMU to Keep Band Suspended While Investigation Continues

May 14, 2012  |  


The longtime director of Florida A&M University’s famed marching band announced his retirement Thursday, while a top state official urged the university to keep the band suspended while investigations continue into a drum major’s death.

The band, its future clouded by the beating death of Robert Champion, appeared unlikely to take the field again anytime soon.

Frank Brogan, the chancellor of Florida’s state university system, wrote a blunt letter to FAMU President James Ammons urging him to keep the band suspended. Ammons was expected to discuss the fate of the band at a special meeting of the university board of trustees planned Monday.

Meanwhile, Ammons disclosed more than 100 band members weren’t even enrolled FAMU students at the time of Champion’s death, a new revelation shaking the Marching 100 whose storied history included performing at Super Bowls and inaugural parades.

Solomon Badger, chairman of the FAMU board, said he hopes Ammons would announce he is keeping the suspension intact for the near future.

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