Fla. chancellor: Keep band off field

Updated: May 11, 2012, 2:13 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's top state university official is asking Florida A&M University to keep its famed band off the field.

Eleven FAMU band members have been charged with felony hazing in connection to the death of drum major Robert Champion in November. Two others face misdemeanor counts.

State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan wrote a letter Thursday to FAMU's president saying the school should not consider reinstating the Marching 100 at this time.

Brogan said the band's long-term survival could be affected if the band started performing before ongoing investigations into the band have finished.

Brogan's letter came the same day that band director Julian White said he was retiring.

"After 40 years of service, Dr. White, 71, has chosen to retire as Director of Bands and Distinguished Chair of the Florida A&M University Department of Music," said Charles Hobbs, White's attorney, in a statement. "Dr. White has been a proud FAMU Rattler for more than half a century, first as a student member of the marching band, and later as a drum major of the world-renowned Marching 100."

FAMU president James Ammons is expected to discuss the band at an upcoming special meeting of the university board of trustees.

Champion died aboard a bus outside an Orlando hotel. His death revealed a culture of hazing within the band.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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