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Florida A&M to Investigate a Drum Major’s Death, and Allegations of Hazing in Its Band

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has suspended all performances of the Tallahassee institution’s marching band pending a university investigation of the death of a drum major, Robert Champion, who died after collapsing aboard a charter bus in Orlando, The Orlando Sentinel reported. The local sheriff, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County, said hazing was involved. Parents of three band members told the Sentinel that they had repeatedly pleaded with university officials to look into reports of hazing within the 375-member band. Florida A&M’s president, James H. Ammons, said the university would organize an independent task force to “determine if there are patterns of inappropriate behavior within the culture” of the band.

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