Tallahassee, FL - Attendance was down by nearly half at FAMU's biggest money making game of the year.
With the FAMU Marching 100 sidelined this season after a hazing scandal, it was not the usual packed house for the game against the university's biggest rivalry. But, although the Marching 100 never took to the field, the Bethune Cookman Wildcats showed them some love, with a tribute to FAMU.
Drum Major Robert Champion died after last year's Florida Classic. Investigators say he was the victim of a hazing ritual when the band returned to their hotel after the game.
Says FAMU fan, Bobby Geen: "I accept it for what it is. The band is not here because of hazing in the pledging process."
Fans were disappointed that the Marching 100 didn't strut their stuff.
Says Jamila Alexander: "I've always been a Rattler and it was very sad not to see the FAMU band out there because the FAMU Rattlers are often imitated but never duplicated." but many were pleased with the show they did get, with soul singer Charlie Wilson entertaining the crowd.
Says Ella Cobbs: "The show was awesome, I mean you missed the band, but the young man, he was awesome. It was old school and it was excellent."
Now Rattler fans are just hoping the Marching 100 will make a big come back next year.
More than 32,000 people attended this year's Florida Classic. That's compared to more than 60,000 last year.