Clark Atlanta band misses season opener due to possible hazing

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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ATLANTA - Clark Atlanta University's marching band was not on the field for the season opener Saturday due to an allegation of hazing.

The "Mighty Marching Panthers" marching band has been temporarily suspended as the university looks into the "possibility" of hazing.

"I'm sure it's just speculation," said CAU fan Earlshawna Frye.

 The school's caution led to the Mays High School band being asked to fill in at halftime and in the stands.

"We got the call and we were like, 'Yes let's do it,'" said Twanda Rolle, parent of an MHS band member.

 Throughout the game an announcement was made over the loud speakers telling fans why the CAU band was absent.

 In a statement issued earlier in the week, CAU staff wrote:

"While there is no immediate evidence of hazing or any other foul play, the university of its own volition chooses to take a thorough, comprehensive look into this serious matter."

Some students including freshman Ciara Shaw questioned if the sudden action was influenced by the death of Florida A&M UniversityDrum Major Robert Champion one year ago.

"It is a good idea, but you don't want to go overboard and get to a point where it's hindering the school," said Shaw.

According to their statement, university officials believe hazing is unacceptable. Parents including Rolle agree.

"You don't do those kinds of things. You just don't do it," she said. "That's bad business."

School offifcials said they hope the allegations prove false, but said they will be thorough and aggressive in the investigation.