FAMU Marching 100 Suspended…

It appears that the consequences of the hazing scandal at FAMU are beginning to mount up…

Famed FAMU marching band suspended another year

Florida A&M University’s famed marching band is being suspended for at least one more school year as officials try to cleanse the hazing culture that led to the death of a drum major, the school’s president said Monday.

FAMU President James Ammons said the Marching 100 should stay off the field at least until a new band director is hired and new rules for the band have been adopted.

Eleven FAMU band members face felony charges in the November hazing death of Robert Champion, while two others face misdemeanor counts. The band has been banned from performing since soon after he died, and band director Julian White recently retired after it was revealed that at least 100 band members were not students when Champion died.

“There is no question the band must be restructured, there are measures we feel we must take,” Ammons said.

Ammons was already under pressure from many state officials — including Gov. Rick Scott — to keep the Marching 100 sidelined until other ongoing investigations into the band are completed.

The Marching 100 has had a rich history, performing at Super Bowls and in inauguration parades. The band has been one of the main draws during FAMU football games, and some board members on Monday wanted to know if the decision to keep the band off the field until 2013 would impact ticket sales.

But several trustees told Ammons on Monday that they supported his decision to keep the band suspended.

Travis Roberts, a 25-year-old clarinet player from Fort Lauderdale who has been on the band four years, said he also agreed with the decision. Roberts, who said he has never been hazed because he chose not to be, wants to make sure the university takes real steps toward addressing the issue.

“What do we do in that one year process to make sure these things do not happen again?” Roberts asked. “We lack consistency at times, and this is something that needs to change. … No one has taken accountability for what has happened. This thing didn’t start only five years ago. This thing has happened the past 50 years.” Continue reading

FAMU Marching 100 – Something Rotten in Florida

WTF is the deal with this violent hazing crap? These kids are going way overboard and seriously injuring their fellow band mates, sorority sisters and brothers and initiates. This isn’t fun – it isn’t a “rite of passage” and it damn sure doesn’t reflect on any o the values of the organizations involved.

FAMU band.jpg

FAMU Marching 100 Rocked by Hazing Scandals

4 Florida A&M band members arrested for hazing beatings

Four members of the Florida A&M marching band were arrested Friday and charged with hazing.

Pictures: Florida A&M University hazing scandal

Florida A&M University hazing scandal

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion Died After Hazing Beating

According to police records, pledges of the band club for clarinet players known as the Clones were punched or paddled while they played music during a hazing initiation.

The four students arrested are: Denise Bailey, 22; Brandon Benson, 23; Hakeem Birch, 21 and Anthony Mingo, 22. They were booked on a misdemeanor hazing charge and released on bail.

The arrests are the latest fallout from a scandal that has rocked the university. In November, FAMU drum major Robert Champion died hours after the Florida Classic football game in Orlando in what authorities said was a hazing ritual. His death has been ruled a homicide, but no charges have been brought.

The 26-year-old drum major suffered blunt trauma blows to his body while he was aboard a bus and died from shock caused by severe bleeding.

Friday’s charges are not related to Champion’s death, but to “three or four initiation meetings” that began around Sept. 1 in a house about a mile from campus. Five pledges to the Clones were lined up and “forced to exercise, play music, and were either punched, prepped (slapped with both hands on back) and/or paddled,” police said.

One of the pledges took photos of her bruises and quit after the first meeting.

During the initiations, pledges were forced to give money and were pressured to keep exercising “even after exhaustion.”

FAMU president James Ammons originally fired band director Julian White after Ammons said he failed to report hazing he knew about. White, who is now on administrative leave, denies that he didn’t do enough.

White previously provided copies to The Associated Press of letters that he sent to the newly arrested students Hakeem Birch and Anthony Mingo in November, saying he was suspending them until a hazing investigation by university police was finished.

In December, three band members were charged with hazing after allegedly beating pledge Bria Shante Hunter’s legs with fists and a metal ruler to initiate her into the “Red Dawg Order,” a band clique for students who hail from Georgia. According to CBS Miami, the beating was so severe Hunter suffered a broken thigh bone and blood clots in her legs.

The Board of Governors – which oversees the state’s 11 public universities – launched an investigation in November into whether FAMU officials ignored warnings about hazing. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also is investigating the Marching 100′s finances.

Complete coverage of the Florida A&M hazing scandal on Crimesider

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