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FAMU Marching 100 drum major dies after Orlando football game

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-994491.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida A&M University is mourning the loss of a student. Lynn Hatter reports that 26-year-old Robert Champion, a Drum Major for the Marching 100, died Saturday in Orlando following the Florida Classic Football game.

Friends of Robert Champion use words like quiet, respectful, and serious when talking about him. Ashley Mackey, FAMU alum, marched with the percussion section and says Champion was like a brother.

"He was very serious about anything in his career. Anything in his marching band career, anything dealing with education Robert excelled in everything he did."

Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said Champion was vomiting and complaining of not being able to breathe in parking lot of the Orlando hotel where the Marching 100 was staying after the game. He was transported to Dr. Phillips Hospital where he was pronounced dead. FAMU is preparing to provide grief counseling for fellow band members and students. Orange County Sheriff officials say no foul play is suspected at this time, but an autopsy will be performed Monday.