Florida Governor Calls for Suspension of FAMU President

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave his recommendation to the university’s board of trustees on Thursday.

Posted: 12/15/2011 11:26 PM EST

Florida Gov. Rick Scott recommended that Florida A&M University president James Ammons be suspended immediately in light of multiple investigations into the death of marching band member Robert Champion last month.

 

Scott gave his recommendation to the university’s Board of Trustees on Thursday. "I think it is in the president's best interest and the school's best interest that he step aside," Scott said, according the Associated Press. He said that he didn’t have any evidence to suggest wrongdoing on Ammons’ part. Scott said he had spoken with Ammons and is not asking the administrator to resign.

 

Ammons does not directly report to the governor, however, the governor is responsible for selecting some of the members who serve on the FAMU board of trustees. The governor also appoints most of the people who sit on the board of governors that oversees the State University System.

 

Solomon Badger, the chairman of the FAMU board, said the trustees would meet by phone on Monday to consider the governor's request.

 

Scott asked the state department of law-enforcement to assist local authorities in the investigation of the death of marching band member Robert Champion. Champion, a drum major in the school’s famed the Marching 100 band, collapsed and died after performing with the band at a football game in Orlando last month. Authorities have released few details in his death, but they believe hazing played a role.

 

On Dec. 12, investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement uncovered irregularities with the band's finances and have launched a separate probe of FAMU employees and people associated with the university.

 

Separately, this week, three other FAMU band members were charged for the hazing of a female band member who said they struck her with their fists and metal ruler so hard that she received blood clots and a broken thigh bone.

 

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