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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FAMU drum major died after game

22

November

champion.jpgThe Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 26-year-old drum major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Robert Champion, of Atlanta, was found unresponsive on a bus following last weekend's Florida Classic football game between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman University.

Chapman had reportedly thrown up in the Rosen Plaza Hotel parking lot where the bus was parked, and had also complained of having trouble breathing before losing consciousness, according to a Sheriff's Office report. His friends called 911 and tried CPR before he was rushed to Doctor Phillips Hospital. There, he was pronounced dead.

Deputies say the investigation is ongoing, but they do not suspect foul play. However, there have been rumors that Champion was hazed prior to his death, according to Tallahassee Democrat report.

An autopsy is expected to be completed either today or tomorrow, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ginette Rodriguez.

Until that investigation is complete, FAMU President James Ammons is suspending all practices and performances, the Associated Press reports. Ammons also announced the school would form an independent task force to conduct its own investigaton into "whether there have been ongoing inappropriate band customs or traditions." FAMU has had a history of hazing issues.

(Photo: Tallahassee Democrat)

[Last modified: Monday, November 28, 2011 3:16pm]

    

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