The head of the FAMU Alumni Association says it's bad enough to lose the famed Marching 100 in the wake of a drum major's hazing death. He says fans shouldn't make matters worse by staying away.
Supporters say just because the Marching 100 won't be on the field this football season, doesn't mean the fans shouldn't still be in the stands.
Bragg Memorial Stadium is completely empty.
With the FAMU Marching 100 suspended for the 2012-2013 academic year, many fear these stands won't look much different come football season.
Tommy Mitchell, the president of the Alumni Association says now is not the time for fans to stay away.
Mitchell says, "As a matter of fact, now we need to buy extra tickets. Now, we need to make sure we come in larger numbers until such times as the 100 returns and the 100 will return."
University President Dr. James Ammons says new standards must be in place before the Marching 100 returns.
The band is suspended in the wake of drum major Robert Champion's November hazing death.
Mitchell says football ticket sales won't suffer if alumni step up.
He says if the 70,000 alumni gave just $3.85 every two weeks, one person's contribution would add up to $100 over the course of a year. He says that's seven million dollars a year for the alumni association.
"This is a time for us to reflect upon how much we really do love FAMU." Says, Mitchell.
Mitchell says alumni contributions increased by 32 percent last year, allowing the association to present a check for $950,000 during halftime last Homecoming.
FAMU President Dr. James Ammons says, "I'm hoping that all of our fans will continue to support the team. Yes, we have a deficit and we're working on that."
Mitchell says, "Our favorite chant is 'when the dark clouds gather in the rise, Well, they're there now. Let's strike, and strike, and strike again--financially."
Mitchell says he believes alumni will step up to the plate and help continue the FAMU legacy.
Mitchell says alumni contributors went from 1,200 last year to nearly 3,200 this year.
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