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Thursday, May 3, 2012
Mom wants FAMU band disbanded news services

ATLANTA -- The family of the Florida A&M University drum major who died in a hazing incident says the school should disband the famed marching band.

Pam Champion, the mother of Robert Champion, said Thursday that the only way to halt hazing in the program is to disband the marching band until further notice.

"You've got to clean house. That's the only thing," she said.

Her comments come a day after 13 people were charged in Robert Champion's death.

Seven of those charged have turned themselves in to authorities in five jurisdictions, Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said Thursday.

There are 11 defendants in all who face third-degree felony hazing charges for the death of the 26-year-old Champion last November. Four of them are still at large. Two are in Georgia and another is in Delaware. Two others face misdemeanor counts.

Champion's death revealed a culture of hazing at the historically black college in Tallahassee, particularly in its celebrated marching band.

FAMU has suspended the marching band and set up a task force on curtailing hazing.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.