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FAMU hires new band director, but Marching 100's return still uncertain

Florida A&M University announced that alum Sylvester Young will be the new director of the school's Marching 100 band. Young is a 1969 FAMU graduate who once marched in the esteemed but now embattled band.

With the selection of a new director today, in addition to a recently hired compliance officer and anti-hazing czar, FAMU now has all the pieces in place to allow the band to return in the fall. The band has been off the field ever since the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

Interim President Larry Robinson said today there are still policies that need to be finalized and there is no timeline for the band's comeback, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The Democrat also reported that Young pledged to have zero tolerance for hazing.

“There’s no room for that type of activity,” he said in that report. “We can come out of this being an icon for other universities.”

Young will begin working at FAMU on June 14 and earn $105,000 a year. He currently serves as band director at Ohio University and has also led marching bands at Hampton and Lincoln universities.

During the final round of interviews, Young told the search committee that he could have the band ready by the first football game, the MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Orlando on Sept. 1.