FAMU's Ammons will consider stepping aside, Gov. Scott under fire

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The president of Florida A&M University said after a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott on Friday that he would consider stepping aside while the investigation into the hazing rituals and finances of the school’s famous “Marching 100” band continues, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.

President James Ammons’ statement came on commencement day for FAMU, adding a touch of dissonance to a day on which Scott came under fire for his recommendation and Orange County medical examiners officially ruled the hazing death of Robert Champion a homicide.

Ammons and Scott met for about 40 minutes the day after the governor called for Ammons to be suspended at a special meeting of the FAMU board of trustees scheduled for Monday morning.

“He thought that it was in the best interest of the university and myself, that there wouldn’t be any questions about how the investigation would be carried out by stepping aside, letting the investigations be complete, and then come back after,” Ammons said.

Asked if he agreed with the governor’s recommendation, Ammons said: “It’s something that I’m considering.”

But Scott faced an onslaught of criticism from FAMU students — hundreds of whom gathered outside the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday evening — and graduates of the school.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, issued a scalding statement calling for Scott to back down.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.