Champion’s parents, Pam and Robert Champion, Sr., said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that they were opposed to the band’s return right now, calling it a decision based on extra revenue the school stands to make with the band’s return.
“I do believe that it’s too soon,” Pam Champion said. “I don’t see anything that’s different to ensure the safety of those students. Everything that has been put in place is not something that was done voluntarily.”
She also said she hopes sentences for the remaining defendants in the criminal cases will send a message.
“What I would say is what I’ve said all along. There is an opportunity to send a strong message, and it’s the only thing that will be a deterrent,” she said. “So far that message has not been sent to eradicate hazing all together.”
The Champions have pending wrongful-death lawsuits against FAMU and the company that owns the bus in which the hazing took place.
Champion family attorney Chris Chestnut said the cases are progressing and called the material he’s gathered during the pre-trial discovery process “compelling.”