James Ammons, President of Florida A & M University, resigned today in the wake of a band hazing death. (By Phil Coale, AP)
McLean, VA (written by Douglas Stanglin/USA Today) -- The president of Florida A&M has resigned in the wake of a band hazing scandal that left a drum major dead.
Update at 2:40 p.m. ET:
James Ammons' resignation letter was emailed to board members early this afternoon, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
In the letter, he does not elaborate on his decision, saying only that after "considerable thought, introspection and conversations with my family," he will step down effective Oct. 11 and assume a tenured faculty position with the university.
James Ammons's resignation today comes as the family of Robert Champion planned to file a lawsuit partly blaming university administrators for their son's death, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The Sentinel, which saw an advance copy of the lawsuit, reports that it states that the university's board of trustees knew or should have known "that hazing of FAMU Band members would continue taking place in the 2011 band season unless drastic action was taken to prevent it."
The 26-year-old Champion, who was a member of the renowed marching band, died Nov. 19 in Orlando after a beating aboard the band's bus following a performance.
Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts for alleged roles in the hazing. They have pleaded not guilty.