NewsLocal News


Parents of FAMU student who died after bus hazing remember son

Robert Champion
Posted at 7:43 AM, Nov 20, 2013
and last updated 2014-10-15 17:31:36-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) — Two years ago, Robert Champion did something he lived for: he marched with the band during a football game between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman University.

Hours after the Florida Classic, the drum major died from blunt force trauma caused by fellow band members.

It's an endless pain that the family has to endure.

Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV spoke with Pam and Robert Champion Senior who were in Orlando Tuesday night to remember their son, who was 26.

He was hazed aboard a bus and collapsed when it was parked at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on International Drive.

It's the spot where the Champions released balloons into the night sky and prayed.

"We are determined to make sure that no other family have to deal with that we have gone through and are still going through," Pam Champion said.

The family set up to end hazing, but they're still afraid it may go on at FAMU.

Those fears are heightened knowing the Florida classic is Saturday.

"My biggest concern as we've already stated is the safety of the students. That's the biggest concern: students before money. The safety," Pam Champion said.

"It got to stop and it got to stop now," Robert Champion Sr. said.

Last week, Harold Finley pleaded guilty to his role in the death of Champion and was sentenced to a year of house-arrest and four years probation.

Co-defendant Jessie Baskin will be sentenced next year and could face nine years in prison.

Six remaining defendants will also go to trial.

Eight others accepted plea deals.