By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The embattled director of the Florida A&M band has announced his retirement amid new revelations involving the Marching 100 and the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion, according to news reports.
Julian White, 71, had been on administrative leave and was fighting to keep his job as chairman of the music department and director of bands. He had been with the famed band for four decades.
Today his attorney announced he would retire, hours after the Tallahassee Democrat reported that White allowed non-students in the band, a violation of university policy.
White "remains a loyal FAMU Rattler and wishes his alma mater continued success in the future," attorney Chuck Hobbs said in a news release, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The band has been suspended since the November death of Champion, who was severely beaten during a hazing ritual. This afternoon, the state university chancellor said the band's suspension should not be lifted.
FAMU President James Ammons is expected to discuss the band at a special meeting of the board of trustees Friday or Monday, the Associated Press says.
Last week, 11 band members were charged with felony hazing and two others face misdemeanor counts.