The fate of the FAMU “Marching 100” has finally been decided. According to The Associated Press, FAMU’s famed marching band is being suspended until2013. The announcement was made Monday by the school’s president, James Ammons, at a meeting of the university’s board of trustees. During the meeting Ammons said that he wanted to ensure a “safe environment” for band members before a possible reinstatement. “So we will work to get these things done,” said Ammons.
University officials are said to be unsure about what types of entertainment will replace the band at football games this fall.
In addition to the band’s suspension, the Florida A&M chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity Incorporated has closed its chapter until 2017. A notice posted on the organization’s website went live today and states that the chapter will be removed until at least May 3, 2017. The organization has also expelled 28 members, including all undergraduates or pledges during the spring of 2010. A police investigation implicated two FAMU band staff members as being involved in the hazing of Kappa Kappa Psi pledges during that time.
The suspension of the fraternity and the marching band are the latest developments in the fallout of the death of Robert Champion. Champion, a FAMU drum major, died in November of 2011 after walking through a “gauntlet of fists” in a hazing process. Champion was said to be “pledging a bus” during a band road trip.
As previously reported, 13 Marching 100 members have been charged in the death of Champion; 11 of which could face up to six years in prison. On May 10, famed FAMU band director Julian White announced through his attorneys that he had decided to retire.