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Tuesday
Nov222011

Hazing Eyed in Death of Florida A&M Drum Major

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The Florida drum major who died shortly after performing in a halftime show this past weekend may have been the victim of hazing, police said Tuesday.

Robert Champion, 26, was a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. He was found dead on the band’s bus Saturday night.

Ginette Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Orange County, Fla., sheriff’s office, told ABC News that investigators are still conducting interviews with members of the school band, football team and others who were at the Florida Classic football game that night.

The drum major was found unresponsive on the bus in Orlando Saturday night, and later declared dead at Dr. Phillips Hospital in Orlando. Initial results from the medical examiner were inconclusive, Rodriguez said. The sheriff’s department is awaiting further results.

School officials are awaiting autopsy results.

Friends of Champion told investigators the drum major had trouble breathing before he lost consciousness. Police initially said they do not suspect foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.

Champion’s father, also named Robert, said his son was in good shape, WSBTV.com reported.

“I think he was in pretty good condition. He ate and he trained and had no medical condition that I know of,” Champion said of his son.

Pamela Champion, Robert’s mother, said she is waiting to hear back from the medical examiner before speaking publicly about her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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