Florida A&M band director Julian White, who has been under intense criticism since the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in Orlando last fall, retired unexpectedly today amid more troubling revelations about the embattled band.
White's attorney, Chuck Hobbs, announced the decision this afternoon. White, 71, chairman of the university's music department and director of bands since 1998, has been fighting for months to keep his job.
He has been on paid administrative leave since shortly after Champion's death following the Florida Classic football game on Nov. 19.
Reached by telephone, White could not say when his retirement will be effective but that it will be "as soon as possible" — pending the processing of necessary paperwork.