FAMU scandal is no Penn State

Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Campbell comes to the defense of Florida's largest historically African-American university, which has been caught up in a deadly hazing scandal.

This past weekend, the St. Petersburg Times published a lengthy article in which experts suggested Florida A&M University shut down its storied Marching 100 band in the wake of the November 19 death of Robert Champion. The drum major allegedly died after receiving blows during a hazing ritual. The story quoted Walter Kimbrough, hazing expert and president of Philander Smith College in Arkansas, this way: "Your chances of having a marching band hazing incident are zero if you don't have a functioning marching band." That's absolute BS.

This all is tragic, and law enforcement should investigate and criminally charge anyone involved in the young man's death. But let's be real here. Hazing goes on whenever you are part of a secret society or an organization. And it's not just fraternities and sororities. Fire and police department rookies are hazed all the time. In Major League Baseball, veterans constantly play jokes on younger players such as throwing pies in their faces or making them dress up like women.

C. Stiles

The FAMU problems could have happened on any college campus. But because we're talking about the storied college band from one of the nation's best-known black colleges, the media wants to paint FAMU as an institution lacking control. It's totally unfair.

FAMU's scandal is unlike those at Penn State and Syracuse, in which legendary coaches Joe Paterno and Jim Boeheim, along with administrators, turned a blind eye to the sexual predators in their midst. FAMU's longtime band director, Julian White, cracked down on hazing. He did what Paterno and Boeheim wouldn't do. White dismissed more than 100 band members who participated in hazing and many times canceled scholarships. Four others were expelled. Unfortunately, FAMU fired White, making him a scapegoat.

People want to crucify FAMU now and forget all the school's great accomplishments, such as playing at three presidential inaugurations and five Super Bowls, as well as representing the United States in Paris for France's 200-year Bastille Day celebration. There is no doubt Champion should not have been hazed. But White fought hard to stop that.

If the Marching 100 disappears, future generations of talented African-American musicians won't get the chance to play. That would be a shame.

 
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15 comments
Pl1299
Pl1299

its not the same, crazy

Truth
Truth

They should punish the Head of the School and Administrators who ignored White's pleas simply because all they could see was dollar signs. Yes White's firing was merely a way for the Top officials to absolve themselves of any liability, which is a SHAME. White had the right mindset in suspension, scholarship revocations, etc. however, the School failed to support his efforts by still allowing the students to remain at the school, take classes and participate. It's unfortunate, but those at the lower end of the $$$ spectrum always take the fall and all the heat, while those high level administrators that see these children and band program as stock, continue to hold their jobs and never never are held accountable. Shame

Pukesgospelisalie
Pukesgospelisalie

A bunch of wild fucking saucerlipped moolies. Thats all they are.Close that fucking zoo.

Brian504
Brian504

There is an on going investigation. The Penn State investigation of two years has been completed and has resulted in 40 criminal charges, the investigation into the FAMU incident is just over two weeks old.

And, to FAMU's credit they took swift action by suspending the band until they find out what's going on.

Further, a student died.... we do not yet know if he was killed the investigation nor the medical examiner has yet to come to any conclusions.

Iggey
Iggey

How can you say that this is not like Penn State? With the Penn State incidents, they are ALLEGATIONS. Sandusky has been proven guilty by public opinion by so-called journalists like you. In the FAMU incident - a student was KILLED. Not "allegedly" killed, but he DIED. This entire group needs to be investigated - just like everything else in college. And if there is found to be continuing hazing, or lack of respect for human life - then the entire program should be disbanded for a year or so. Don't give us that a few bad apples don't ruin the entire bunch. This director didn't have control over his group, and is ultimately responsible for the actions of his band.

Mishammer
Mishammer

Amen to that. Punish whoever was involved in this but don't punish the entire university. Now,we don't need a whole college closed. We are short of black colleges as it stands right now.

Pukesgospelisalie
Pukesgospelisalie

Pukester, big guy, a pie in the face or dressing up rookies in drag IS NOT the same as beating someone to death. As always, you spew shit from them soupcoolers without any foundation.Go fuck yourself porch monkey.

Dapeew
Dapeew

you should be ashamed of yourself

Vvivica33024
Vvivica33024

you couldn't have said it better. In addition let's not forget that when bad choices are made they have consequences. You can't lead and follow. Plus were talking about a 26 yr old. To my point 400 lives should not be impacted over 5 peoples bad decisions. God will prevail. I say it was his purpose so that the kids would see the seriousness of the effects.

Christinna Martin
Christinna Martin

@ Ocasiow he making a big deal about because it is a HBCU! It's one of the most esteemed HBCUs in the nation. Honesty, it's not even a race issue it's a moral issue! Please keep in mind that no university is perfect as we can see...legendary coaches Joe Paterno and Jim Boeheim, along with administrators, turned a blind eye to the sexual predators. Really??? Which crime is the worst? Some college students hazing(what they do just about everywhere) or some mid-age adult man fondling up kids and while others are keeping it a secret like its okay?

Jsantos1
Jsantos1

Face it it's the TRUTH !!

Jewell Reddick
Jewell Reddick

It is a shame that a black man is not free to speak on any issue that he pleases to expound upon. I do not think You would have such an issue with this article had it been written by a white man. No one asks whites to stop commenting on things (or shall I say whining) that happen when a white person is involved. The fact that you think that the world will ever be free of race tells me that there is still more to address. Hazing happens every single day, and it is not just on the campus of Florida A & M University. The mere fact that it happened with a black school involved though has suddenly gotten the governor and others involved when they have turned a blind eye to these incidents at other schools. http://www.wftv.com/news/news/...I wish that just for once when a black person decided to speak out against injustice and give his opinions that it wouldn't be painted as whining and blaming others.

 
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