FAMU band director fired after suspected hazing

By Kyle Hightower

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The longtime band director at Florida A&M University has been fired after the suspected hazing death of a drum major.

FAMU president James Ammons sent band director Julian White a termination letter Wednesday, citing White's inability to stop the suspected hazing in the band and music department.

Officials say 26-year-old Robert Champion was found unresponsive on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel on Saturday night after the school's football team lost to rival Bethune-Cookman. Champion was vomiting and had complained he couldn't breathe before he collapsed.

A telephone message left at White's home wasn't immediately returned. White has been placed on paid administrative leave and has 10 days to respond to his firing.

Associated Press writer David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.

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