Florida A&M University President Retains Support of the Board of Trustees

James Ammons

Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott called for the board of trustees of Florida A&M University to suspend President James Ammons until an investigation surrounding the death of university band member Robert Champion Jr. is completed. On Monday the board, which previously issued a reprimand to Ammons, decided not to suspend the university’s president but to meet weekly to discuss developments in the case.

The Orange County sheriff’s department has ruled Champion’s death a homicide. According to the autopsy report, Champion died from heart failure and hemorrhagic shock due to internal bleeding within an hour of being the victim of a hazing incident. The report said that Champion suffered “multiple blunt trauma blows to his body.”

President Ammons had earlier fired band leader Julian White and expelled four students but those actions were rescinded pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Last week, three FAMU band members were arrested in the case of another band member who claimed she was the victim of a hazing-related beating a few weeks before Champion’s death. She has since left the university.


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  1. As a proud alumnus of Florida A&M, I am most pleased with the Board of Trustees’ confidence in President Ammons’ ability to lead the University. Ammons is the saving grace of FAMU. Surely, his tenure first started with a 90 day plan to retain the University’s accreditation and continuously building the academic integrity of the Institution. After looking at his track record and commitment levels, Ammons has yet to let the Rattler family down.

    Thank you FAMU BOT and Pres. Ammons,

    Education Prof.
    FAMU C/O 2005

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