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NCCU's drum line suspended amid hazing claims

Posted September 13, 2012

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— Hazing allegations have prompted North Carolina Central University to suspend nearly a quarter of its marching band.

According to a statement the university released Thursday morning, the Marching Sound Machine Band's 36-member drum line is not allowed to participate in any band-related activities while the allegations are being investigated.

"NCCU has a zero-tolerance policy on hazing," the statement read. "Hazing is a criminal behavior, as well as a direct violation of the university's Student Code of Conduct and North Carolina General Statutes."

The suspension, which does not affect band members' status at the university, went into effect Monday after some individuals in the band complained of what Kevin Rome, vice chancellor for student affairs, described as "general hazing."

He would not go into details about the accusations or say who specifically might have been involved.

Rome said he expects the university's investigation to be complete as early as next week

That means, however, that the drum line won't be able to play this Saturday when the NCCU Eagles face off against the Duke Blue Devils in Durham's Bull City Gridiron Classic.

Students called the suspension a big loss.

"The drum line is, sort of, what makes up the backbone of the marching band in the first place," student Larry McGill said. "To hear that it's been suspended is almost like having the backbone of the band taken out."

Rysden Dunn is on NCCU's dance team.

"We dance to what they're playing, so, I don't even know how (Saturday's performance) will work out," she said. "So, the whole band is going to fall apart, basically, without the drum line."

In November, a drum major for Florida A&M University's Marching 100, died after he was beaten by band mates during a hazing ritual.

The death prompted the band's director to resign and the university to suspend the band.

The university's president, James Ammons, also resigned. Ammons had been the chancellor at NCCU until 2007, when he left the post for Florida A&M.

Rome said the Florida case was not a factor in the university's actions.

"We would take these actions, regardless of whether the incident happened at Florida A&M," he said. "It's the right thing to do."

15 Comments

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  • northernnc Sep 14, 2012

    This story is hitting too close to home for me. I’m a 2nd year NCA&T drum line parent. Go Aggies!!! Admittedly, this story breaks my heart, I pray it isn’t true. Perception now says that most HBCU drum lines practice hazing. 1st FAMU now NCCU. I’m expecting to find out that the accusers are freshman coming from a less disciplined high school missing the plethora of band booster parents to bail them out and now …they want their parents to get them out. I will be watching this story very closely.

  • jlh4jdj Sep 13, 2012

    Without the facts it's hard to say if this is the correct response or not. I hope that there are hard facts before this action was taken. If not then the University is just over reacting to PC pressure. If there are really facts and they are just working through them then good job.

  • Crabbit Cratur Sep 13, 2012

    Good, and I hope other bands are taking note and making sure this sort of thing does not happen in NCSU, UNC etc. There really is no excuse for this kind of bullying.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 13, 2012

    NC A & T CONTINUES TO STAND TALL. WHAT AN OUTSTANDING UNIVERSITY. OH, ITS A UNC BUT THEIR RECORD IS GREAT!

  • RAA0013 Sep 13, 2012

    Well done NCCU - find out the facts and then react but keep the kids safe in the meantime.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 13, 2012

    NC A & T DRUM LINE WILL IN THE PARADE COME THIS YEARS HOMECOMING. THEY WILL BE GREAT AS ALWAYS.

  • LovemyPirates Sep 13, 2012

    At least the Administration showed a backbone.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 13, 2012

    So far NC A& T is standing tall. I do hope that will continue.

  • issymayake Sep 13, 2012

    And also it's still in the 'investigation' stage, and the hazing is 'alleged'. I applaud the university not taking any chances and being proactive by suspending the drumline. But they may be found to be innocent of the accusations.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 13, 2012

    I too am glad that this University is doing something. They are hitting the students where it hurts the most. Embrassing, yes but maybe, just maybe they all will learn from this. Hazing should not be a part of any schools, community colleges, or universities. Period!

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