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B-CU Apology to FAMU and Condolences to the Family of Drum Major, Mr. Robert Champion

Bethune-Cookman University President Trudie Kibbe Reed and the Marching Wildcats Band Director Donovan Wells, on behalf of the entire B-CU family, offer their sincerest condolences to Florida A&M University and the family of drum major, Mr. Robert Champion, for their tragic loss.

Additionally, President Reed, Mr. Wells and the B-CU family, regret the inappropriate comments regarding FAMU drum majors made over the public announcement system at the Florida Classic game. On behalf of B-CU, the President extends apologies to the FAMU family and takes full responsibility for this incident. While these comments were made during friendly competition and were not intended to be malicious, we recognize that these words were insensitive and hurtful.

President Reed states that even in the stiffest rivalry and the spirit of competition, we must take note of words that heal rather than hurt.

President Reed vows to take this issue to the Florida Classic Consortium to propose a neutral screening of each team's scripts before the game begins to ensure that an incident of this nature does not happen again.

The B-CU family is distraught over the death of this young man and shares in the sorrow and the grief of his loved ones.  The loss of this exceptional band member goes beyond the walls of Florida A&M and touches the hearts of every HBCU family member across the nation. We have all lost someone dear to our hearts and will keep the Champion family in our prayers through this difficult time.

Office of Public Relations

Meredith Rodriguez
Associate Director, Communications & Marketing
PH: 386-481-2991
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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