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FAMU delays hiring new band director

11:18 AM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida A&M University is delaying the hiring of a new director for its famed Marching 100 band.

FAMU interim president Larry Robinson was expected Tuesday to name a successor to former band director Julian White.

But university spokeswoman Sharon Saunders told a crowd of nearly 100 faculty members and students that the appointment was on hold.

Saunders told reporters that the finalist for the job and the university were still negotiating a final contract.

The university initially fired White shortly after the November 2011 hazing-related death of drum major Robert Champion. But his dismissal was put on hold at the urging of law enforcement officials investigating Champion's death.

White announced his retirement in May 2012.

Saunders said FAMU changed the responsibilities of the band director in the wake of Champion's death, and this issue may be partly responsible for the hiring delay.

Last year, four people interviewed for the band director job, including current band directors at a North Carolina college and a Florida high school. Three of the finalists had attended FAMU.

The Marching 100 has been suspended since Champion's death. There is no scheduled date for its return.

(Associated Press)

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