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Gov. Scott Calls For Suspension Of FAMU President

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Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott (Source: CBS4)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott has called for the president of Florida A & M University in the wake of a hazing related death of a marching band member and fraud probe.

Scott called the chairman of the FAMU board, Solomon Badger, on Thursday and asked him to suspend James Ammons immediately. The board last week discussed suspending Ammons, but instead voted to publicly reprimand him instead. The board meets again Monday.

Badger has expressed his support for president James Ammons; other trustees defer to Badger.

Ammons also has a powerful ally in alumnus Al Lawson, a former state legislator whose name adorns the school’s new multipurpose center and gymnasium.

“Just by removing the president you don’t solve the problem,” said Lawson earlier this month. “They need to give him a chance to rectify and clean up the situation.”

Lawson also noted the school recently signed Ammons to a new five-year contract and that any buyout at this point would be costly.

Four students were expelled for their role in what is believed to be the hazing death of Robert Champion. He died aboard a band bus following a football game against rival Bethune-Cookman University. Witnesses said he vomited before becoming unresponsive.

Champion’s family plans to sue over his death.

FAMU’s famed Marching 100 band remains suspended from performing.

State law-enforcement officials earlier this week announced that they have since opened a second investigation into possible criminal violations dealing with the band’s finances.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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