ATLANTA - The suspension of FAMU's Marching 100 was apparent during the 24th Annual Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome.
The marching band was suspended following the death of DeKalb County's Robert Champion, one of the band's drum
majors, who died after an apparent hazing ritual last year.
FAMU supporters told Channel 2's Carl Willis that nothing could take the place of the famous band.
Despite that, event organizers put together a star-studded halftime performance with recording artists Chaka Khan, Doug E.
Fresh and the rapper Future taking the stage.
"It was exquisite," said FAMU graduate Adelle Conway-Woodberry. "Extremely nice. It didn't take the place of the Marching 100, but it was excellent."
Some FAMU alumni said they made it a point to attend the game to support the university after the fallout from Champion's tragic death.
"It's not excusable what they've done," said FAMU graduate Boris Hall.
"So they have to suffer the punishment for they've done. You have to play the game to show them that they're not above the school."
Other FAMU supporters said the game just didn't feel the same without the band.
There was no battle of the bands only a so-called "battle of the fans" throughout the game.
"I would say it's kind of sad and depressing for us," said FAMU graduate Alvin Bell. "We're not happy that happened to them, so hopefully they'll come back strong real soon."
Southern University won the game 21-14, but not before paying tribute to their opponents at halftime with band members spelling out FAMU on the field.
Rattler fans said they're hopeful the university and the band will benefit from the break.
"Sometimes the wrong will bring out the
best, and I hope it does," said FAMU supporter Jessie Conway.