FAMU Fumbles Again

The podium was in place. Students and staff in the audience, but fifteen minutes after the announcement of a new director of the marching bands was set to begin FAMU Spokesperson Sharon Saunders said "We are going to have to reschedule this press conference. They were unable to reach an agreement."

The band was suspended in November 2011, after the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Plans to hire an anti-hazing czar and a compliance officer have been in the works since last May. No one has been hired.

FAMU finds itself in a catch-22. It's on probation because it has problems. Yet it can't hire people to fix these problems, because they're concerned about taking a job at a place with problems.

The school is also searching for a permanent president. It is unclear whether the Interim president, or a new president, will decide if the band goes back on the field this fall.

State Senator and FAMU alum Dwight Bullard thinks it should be sooner than later.

"It's one of those institutions that has done more good than it can ever do harm. Whether it's economics, whether it's morale," said Bullard.

The University continues to face sanctions from its accrediting organization over the lack of financial controls and a recent Board of Governors report says the school was slow to address known hazing issues.

The Presidential Search Committee hopes to name new president by the summer.


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