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Florida A&M expels students in suspected band hazing death

December 1, 2011 |  3:28 pm

Florida A&M

Amid fallout from the suspected hazing-related death of a band member last month, Florida A&M University officials announced Thursday that they have expelled four students allegedly involved in the incident.

Robert Champion, 26,  a drum major in the school band, was found unresponsive after a Nov. 19 football game. He was in a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel.

Authorities have said that hazing played role but have not released details as they continue to investigate.

University President James Ammons mentioned the dismissals in a memo Tuesday to the Board of Trustees but did not specify what the four students had done, the Associated Press reported.

In the 911 recording obtained by the Associated Press, an unidentified caller told the emergency dispatcher that Champion had stopped breathing and was unresponsive. Champion had just thrown up, the caller said before handing the phone to a second man.

"We need an ambulance ASAP," the first caller said. "His eyes are open but he's not responding."

The dispatcher told the second man to place Champion on his back and clean any vomit from his nose and mouth.

"He is cold," the second caller said.

The school’s band director, Julian White, was fired after the death. Ammons, the school president, also suspended the band from performances.


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Photo: Members of the Florida A&M University band lead a horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket of fellow band member Robert Champion, 26, after his funeral Wednesday in Decatur, Ga. Credit: David Goldman / Associated Press