11 FAMU band members are now facing felony hazing charges. (Photo : Flickr/bsteele)
Florida A&M University president James Ammons announced his resignation on Wednesday afternoon in the aftermath of a tragic, ongoing scandal surrounding the hazing death of the university's drum major.
Like Us on Facebook
26-year-old Robert Champion died on Nov. 19 in Orlando after being beaten in a hazing ritual aboard the band bus following a performance. Eleven FAMU band members are now facing felony hazing charges, and two more have been charged with misdemeanors. The drum major's family are reportedly planning a wrongful death lawsuit partially blaming school administrator's for negligence.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Champion's family reports in the lawsuit that the university's board of trustees should have known "that hazing of FAMU Band members would continue taking place in the 2011 band season unless drastic action was taken to prevent it."
Ammon's resignation letter didn't delve into his reasons, but simply stated that he'd put "considerable thought, introspection and conversations with family" into the decision.
"Now there are new challenges that must be met head on," Ammons wrote. "I am determined to move all of the major challenges toward resolution and move our university toward success."
Ammons' last day is scheduled as Oct. 11, when he will step down into a tenured faculty position. FAMU Board of Trustees Solomon Badgers responded, "I am saddened by President Ammons' decision to resign, but it is his choice to do so. Given all that has transpired, it seems to be in the best interest of the University and I applaud him for putting FAMU ahead of his personal goals."