In an attempt to convince the court of his innocence, defendant Jonathan Bryce claims that Robert Champion wanted to be hazed—seeing it as a right of passage. “It’s a respect thing, you know,” Boyce told detectives. “Well, he was wanting to do it all … all season.” While this may sound fairly plausible, there’s just one problem: Champion’s parents say their son was a vocal opponent against hazing and was hazed because of that.
Since hazing is an old "Greek" ritual conducted to forge bonds and express commitment, many of Bryce's declarative statements may be true. But, the prosecutors don’t seem fazed by Champion’s alleged willingness—releasing more than 1,500 pages of evidence against the 13 people charged in his death. For the time being, FAMU’s Marching 100 band is suspended and band director Julian White retired earlier this month.