It’s confirmed. They are back. Florida A&M announced on Thursday morning that the Marching 100, FAMU’s world famous marching band, will make its return to the football field at the season opener against Mississippi Valley State. After a nearly two year absence, the band will make its return September 1 during the nationally televised MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Really surprised FAMU is gonna bring back the Marching 100 for the opener in Orlando. Talk about a media circus doing it there.
— Ira Schoffel/TDO.com (@IraSchoffel) August 15, 2013
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThe band last performed against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 19, 2011. On the ride back that game, The Florida Classic, 26 year old drum major Robert Champion was beaten and later died as a result of hazing. Charges are still pending in the case.
The band sat out the entire 2012 season, but earlier this summer the university announced that it would come back at some point during the 2013 season. The Associated Press reports that fliers announcing a “Battle of The Bands” have been floating around Mississippi Valley State recently.
The Marching 100 may be back, but it’s clear things aren’t back to normal. The marching band will not make the trip with the team to Columbus, Ohio when FAMU takes on national powerhouse Ohio State Sept. 21. A FAMU spokesperson confirmed this for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
“I think they’re going to bring the band back slowly, and keeping with the size reduction and the guidelines, it was just one of those things where when we looked at where the band would perform this year, (the Ohio State game) was one of the things that was easy to move off the list,” said Alonda Thomas from the school’s media relations department.”
While the competition between the two teams isn’t likely to move any casual fans, the Marching 100’s appearance in Columbus was highly anticipated.
“I wish they would have been able to come,” said Jon Waters, the director of the Ohio State Marching Band. “It’s fun to be associated with great bands, whether it’s Florida A&M or even Michigan. What a college band brings to a college football game, that’s what gives it the flavor of college football.”