NEW DETAILS: Band director FIRED Wednesday!
**NEW DETAILS: Investigators find that HAZING was involved
**NEW DETAILS: Any Hazing death in Florida is a 3rd degree FELONY
**UPDATE: Memorial Tuesday for student
**UPDATE: Nearly 400 band members under investigation
As authorities continue to investigate the suspected hazing death of an FAMU drum major, BMS has learned that the university has FIRED its longtime band director, Julian White.
“Dr. White (seen above) has been terminated from employment at the university,” said FAMU president James Ammons, citing White’s “inability to stop hazing in the department of music and in the band.”
“We are serious, this has to stop. The highest priority we have as a university is protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students.”
White had been with FAMU’s faculty since 1972, and was a graduate of the school.
The news comes one day after Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings announced that hazing was involved in the death of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University drum major Robert Champion.
Champion collapsed aboard a parked charter bus in front of the Rosen Plaza hotel Saturday night after the Florida Classic football game in which the FAMU band performed during halftime.
Tuesday Florida A&M University President James Ammons suspended all practices and performances of the school’s famed Marching 100 band until investigators can determine what led to a member’s death over the weekend.
That includes suspension of the Marching “100″ indefinitely. Folks that is nearly “400 band members”
“Out of respect to Robert Champion’s family and in the best interest of the University, I have decided to suspend any and all performances and engagements for bands in the auspices of the music department including the Marching “100”,” Ammons said. “This suspension will be effective immediately”.
Ammons says the suspension will be at least for the duration of the law enforcement investigation.