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Parents claim daughter’s injuries inflicted by FAMU band during hazing

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Madison Hunter contacted 11Alive after hearing Champion’s parents speak Tuesday. He and Kimberly Hunter said their daughter Bria, a freshman clarinet player in the Marching 100, was also a victim of hazing and was hospitalized only weeks before Champion’s death.

On November 19th, 26-year-old Champion collapsed shortly after the band performed at the Florida Classic. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Witnesses say he was vomiting and complained he was unable to breathe before he collapsed. The Orange County sheriff believes hazing is involved.

The Hunters said they only know bits and pieces of what happened to their daughter, but they say it began with a phone call home in early November. Kimberly could tell something was wrong with her daughter, but didn’t know the extent until she saw her Bria that weekend.

“She walked towards me in the car and she was walking stiff-legged,” Hunter recalled. “Then she tried to get into the car and she couldn’t bend her legs to get in. She basically told me they had been punching her in her legs.”

A trip to the hospital proved Bria had a fractured thigh bone and damaged knee. Hunter’s parents contacted director Dr. Julian White and said he immediately took action. Of the 26 students suspended leading up to this year’s Florida Classic, Madison Hunter said nearly a dozen were connected to hazing against his daughter.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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