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FAMU dismisses 4 students connected to death of Robert Champion

4:27 PM, Dec 1, 2011   |    comments
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Robert Champion

 

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - Florida A&M University says it's dismissing four students for their role in the death of a marching band member.

Robert Champion was found unresponsive on Nov. 19 on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel after the school's football team lost to a rival. His death has sparked a criminal investigation as well as a probe into whether FAMU has ignored past warnings about hazing.

FAMU President James Ammons acknowledged the dismissal of the students in a memo he sent earlier this week to members of the FAMU Board of Trustees.

Ammons did not specify what the four students did but said that their dismissals were connected to Champion's death. He also told trustees that a group of students protested his decision to shutter the Marching 100 while the investigation continues.

In the wake of Champion's death, Gov. Rick Scott has asked all university presidents to reevaluate their current hazing and harassment policies and procedures.

In a letter sent to Chancellor Frank Brogan on Thursday, Scott said, "regardless of the conclusions following the investigation, hazing should be strictly condemned on our college and university campuses and by any organization associated directly or indirectly with our institutions.

"This would also be an appropriate time to remind students, faculty and staff of these policies and procedures and how potentially detrimental hazing can be. It must be clear to everyone that hazing or any other form of harassment will not be tolerated under any circumstance," Scott wrote. "Please keep me apprised of how you and the Board of Governors will carry out my request."

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Tallahassee Democrat contributed to this report.)

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