At Florida A&M University, the show must go on.
With the university's famed marching band benched for the next year after the hazing death of one of its members last fall, FAMU's football games will have a new kind of halftime show this year, featuring performances by major recording artists.
The first headliner is hip-hop artist Future, the university announced Monday.
The rapper, whose hits include Tony Montana and Magic, also will host a meet-and-greet for winners of a FAMU fan contest. There also will be an old-school-versus-new-school DJ battle, and a local radio personality will serve as the game's master of ceremonies.
It's all happening under the flag of FAMU's new athletic campaign for the year, called, "Our Team, Our Time. Respect the Game."
"This is an exciting time for FAMU football, and the athletics program has created an energetic and vibrant halftime production to give fans and supporters a spectacular experience," Derek Horne, FAMU's athletics director said in a news release.
The opening game is Sept. 15 against Hampton University. The rest of the season's halftime performers have not yet been announced.
The FAMU news release makes no mention of the death of 21-year-old Robert Champion, a FAMU Marching 100 drum major who died in what police said was a hazing ritual at an out-of-town game in November.
In the wake of Champion's death, the FAMU band director stepped down and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened separate investigations into the death and the band's finances. Thirteen people were arrested on hazing charges, the band was suspended until 2013 and FAMU's president resigned.
Kim Wilmath can be reached at [email protected] or (813)226-3337.