National Institute on Aging

FAMU Suspends Band After the Death of a Drum Major

Robert Champion, one of the six drum majors in the Florida A&M University Marching 100 band, died this past weekend after performing in the halftime show of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Classic football game. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the press, “the victim reportedly threw up in the parking lot and started complaining of not being able to breathe. Friends of the victim called 911 and administered CPR. The victim was transported to Doctor Phillips Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”

“We are in shock,” said FAMU Band Director Julian White. “He was a very fine drum major who was of excellent character and very trustworthy. I had not told him yet, but he was slated to be the head drum major next year.”

Law enforcement officials later stated that the incident may have been related to hazing. The band has had several hazing related incidents in the past. James H. Ammons, president of Florida A&M University, has suspended all band activities while an investigation is completed.


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