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Florida A&M University suspends dance group amid new hazing probe

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida A&M University, shaken by the hazing death of a marching band drum major last year, suspended a student dance group on Tuesday after receiving a tip that members were involved in an off-campus hazing incident over the weekend.

Interim President Larry Robinson ordered the suspension of the Torque Dance Team until an investigation could be completed. The move follows tightened scrutiny of alleged hazing activities following the November death of Robert Champion.


Prosecutor: At least 13 to be charged in FAMU band hazing case

"We have zero tolerance for hazing," Robinson said, adding the suspension followed an anonymous tip from a parent. "It is unconscionable that a student organization would participate in any hazing activity considering what has transpired in the past year."

The campus police chief, dean of students and director of student activities were all notified of the allegations. Robinson said they have launched an investigation, but details about what may have happened weren't released.

According to university records, the dance team had already been inactive since December 2011 because it didn't have an adviser. 

Eleven of the 13 people charged in the death of drum major Robert Champion are facing third degree felony charges in what the prosecutor calls a case of 'homicide by hazing.' NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.

Champion, 26, died on a band charter bus after the university's renowned "Marching 100" band traveled from its Tallahassee campus to Orlando to participate in the annual "Battle of the Bands" and the "Florida Classic" football game between two historically black universities.

Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined he died due to a brutal hazing incident in which he was subjected to a ritualistic beating. Thirteen band members have been charged in connection with Champion's death.

Also following Champion's death, FAMU suspended new membership intake for all clubs and organizations and implemented more strict procedures. That recruitment ban is set to be lifted this month.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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