Champion died in November 2011 after being beaten on a bus in Orlando, Florida, after a football game at which the school’s famed marching band performed.
The hazing was part of a ritual known as crossing the bus, in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.
In September, FAMU responded to the lawsuit by filing court documents saying that the institution was not responsible for Champion’s death. The school asserted that Champion broke the law and school policies when he willingly took part in the hazing that killed him.
“My reaction is that the school did not take the responsibility to keep my son safe,” Robert Champion Sr. said.