Report: Citing Hazing, Julian White Cautioned FAMU Admin to Keep Band Out of Florida Classic
A feature in yesterday’s edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered new insight into the alleged case of hazing in the FAMU Marching 100 that may have led to the death of drum major Robert Champion. Through an interview with his attorney, FAMU Director of Bands Dr. Julian White says hazing had become so prevalent within the band that he cautioned school administrators to keep the Marching 100 from performing during its annual rivalry game, the Florida Classic.
The longtime director of Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 had just suspended 26 members of his renowned band for repeatedly hazing Bria Hunter, a 112-pound, 18-year-old freshman clarinet player from Decatur. Hunter, a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School, was beaten so badly over a three-week period in the fall that she required hospitalization, suffering a broken leg and damaged knee.
The incident led to high-level discussions between the band director and university officials about Marching 100’s immediate future, according to White’s attorney, Chuck Hobbs of Tallahassee.
White argued in favor of keeping the band at home on the weekend of Nov. 19, prohibiting members from participating in the annual Florida Classic against archrival Bethune-Cookman University. But FAMU’s administration, perhaps reasoning that the financial payout of having the band perform at halftime was too much to pass up, decided against that, Hobbs said.