Hazing Incident Investigated at FAMU – Death of Robert Champion – Band Member


In Florida and other States, hazing related acts can be considered crimes punishable by fines and imprisonment. Hazing can lead to serious personal injuries and, in some instances, death. Unfortunately, for some teams and band programs at high schools and colleges, hazing is seen as a tradition or a rite of passage. There is certainly no justification or excuse whatsoever for hazing acts even if there is a tradition or history behind the acts. Florida A & M University is a college located in Tallahassee (Leon County) Florida. The Florida A & M Rattlers are well know for the Marching 100 Band Program. It is a great acomplishment to be selected to this band program and to be part of the magic of the band’s performances. Recently, Robert Champion, age 26, became ill and died. Robert was a band major with the Florida A & M Band Program. The death of this band member may have been related to hazing related activities. See FAMU Band Leader Drummed Out in Wake of Hazing Related Incident.

The administrators and band directors and assistants at FAMU had a duty to supervise the program in a way that provided a safe environment for the band members. Hazing activities are often well known to current and past band members and their parents. It is also well known in many instances to the very officials and administrators running the program. Hazing is hazing. Some people may be inclined to refer to hazing as horse-play, fooling around, kids being kids, etc Again, it should be pointed out that hazing is hazing. Plain and Simple! This is especially true when children and college students are put at risks of humiliation, mental suffering, physical personal injuries, and, sadly, in some instances death.

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