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“During the inception of this death investigation OCSO Detectives have followed all appropriate protocols as if investigating a homicide and will continue to do so through the conclusion of the case,” the statement said.

The agency said no additional information will be released until charges are announced.

Champion’s name was repeatedly invoked during FAMU’s winter graduation ceremony Friday by Narayan Persaud, a faculty and board member. He called on graduates to be “Champion Rattlers” and to help ensure that hazing never happens again.

Larry Robinson, who recently stepped down as assistant secretary of commerce in the Obama administration, acknowledged Champion in his commencement speech. He said there were “dark clouds in our midst” but he predicted the university would overcome the tragedy.

“The world is watching. Let them see, let them hear the real FAMU. Let them know we have been here 124 years and we plan to be here another and yet another,” he said.

News of the autopsy came soon after Gov. Rick Scott met privately with FAMU President James Ammons to discuss whether the university leader should step down.

Ammons was reprimanded by the school’s Board of Trustees, but the governor has said he thinks Ammons should be suspended until multiple investigations are complete.

FAMU’s president does not report directly to the governor. But the governor is responsible for selecting some of those who serve on the FAMU board of trustees. The governor also appoints most of the people who sit on the board of governors that oversees the State University System.

A couple hundred FAMU students showed their support for Ammons during a protest late Thursday night outside the Governor’s Mansion. Scott eventually came outside and talked to them, but he did not back off seeking a suspension.

Ammons said he and the governor had a “great discussion” and he was considering the request.

“We all have the best interests of Florida A&M University at heart, we are going to do what’s best for university,” Ammons said.

A new wrinkle has come from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which has warned that Scott’s push to suspend Ammons could affect the school’s accreditation because of “undue influence” on the board from outside.

Friday evening, Ammons and Florida A&M board chairman Solomon L. Badger III issued a statement saying that the medical examiner’s findings concerned them.

“This information is extremely upsetting for all of us, even though it confirmed what we suspected,” the joint statement said. “We again convey our deepest condolences to the Champion family. We will continue to cooperate with all agencies looking into the matter and are committed to creating a safe environment for the entire FAMU community and ensuring that this never happens again at FAMU.”

Separately, a group of black Tallahassee ministers formed a task force charged with battling hazing at all historically black colleges and universities. Student leaders at FAMU have launched an initiative to encourage every student on campus to sign an anti-hazing agreement; clubs and organizations that don’t sign risk being sanctioned by student government.

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