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FAMU President Resigns Over Band Hazing Scandal

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Florida A&M University President James Ammons

(Source: FAMU.edu)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida A&M University President James Ammons is resigning from his position at the school as the ongoing scandal surrounding band member Robert Champion’s hazing death continues to grow.

Ammons resigned Wednesday in a letter to the university’s governing board, according to the Associated Press.

The resignation will become effective October 11.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ammons’ resignation letter said that the soon-to-be former president at some point “continue my work on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives as a tenured professor on our great faculty.”

Ammons’ resignation comes roughly a month after the FAMU board of trustees handed him a no confidence vote.

The news comes the same day as the parents of Champion are set to file a lawsuit over the hazing death. The lawsuit added the university as well.

Family spokesperson Ryan Julison said Champion’s parents Pamela and Robert will file their suit in Orlando, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Champions parents applaud Ammons’ decision to step down.

“Before the school can move forward, they have to do house cleaning,” said Pamela Champion. “That means taking care of the entities that are there in order to prevent something like this from happening again.”

This lawsuit should come to no surprise.

Champion’s parents announced months ago that they planned to sue the university, but Florida law required them to wait at least six months due to FAMU being a state institution.

The parents did not waste anytime suing others however.

In February, the Champions filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the charter bus company and the driver of the bus Champion was found beaten to death on.

Over the years, FAMU has been in the spotlight due to a number of other hazing incidents involving their marching band.

Late last week, FAMU released records which showed that the Dean of Students had recommended three days before Champion’s death that the band be suspended long-term due to concerns about hazing.

FAMU’s former police chief also has said he urged top administrators during a meeting held on that day to keep the band off the field.

University President James Ammons, who was given a vote of no confidence last month by university trustees in the wake of Champion’s death scandal and ongoing management troubles, has suspended the band for the upcoming football season. No plans have been made as to when they will return.

The Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report.

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