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Fired Band Director Says He Was Made the “ScapeGoat”

Julian White, fired band director of Florida A&M’s “Marching 100,” said his warnings on hazing were ignored by university leaders. White, 71, said he has been made the scapegoat for the death of Robert Champion, a FAMU band member who died on Nov. 19.

White told CBSNews he suspended 26 band members for hazing two weeks prior to Champion’s death and reported his actions to university administrators.

FAMU’s “Marching 100” is a highly regarded band program. White said he was often second-guessed by some parents of band members and likened punishments to suspending star football players.

Champion’s parents plan to sue the university for the death of their son. Christopher Chestnut, an attorney representing the Champions, said hazing played a role in the 26-year-old’s death.

“We want to eradicate a culture of hazing so this doesn’t happen again,” Chestnut said to CBSNews. “Hazing is a culture of, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ The family’s message today is: ‘Please tell.’”

University president James Ammons has suspended all band programs indefinitely.

For more on this story, click here.

To watch Robert Champion Tribute, click here.

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