ORLANDO - Fans piled into the Citrus Bowl in anticipation on Sunday, not only of Florida A&M University's first game of the year but for the return of the school's famed Marching 100.
The band has not performed at a football game since the Florida Classic in November 2011, after drum major Robert Champion collapsed and died following a hazing ritual on a bus parked at an Orlando hotel. The ritual occurred shortly after the band had returned to its hotel after performing at the game.
Florida A&M interim president Larry Robinson attended a pep rally with the band on Saturday. He said the group still sounds like the best band in the nation.
"They have a sound you can hear a mile away and say, 'That's the Marching 100.'" Robinson said. "The band is back, now we need the fans back."
Nirobi Robinson, a FAMU junior who attended ever football game last year, said the games were missing something important last year.
"The entertainment wasn't cutting it," she said. "We need the band."