Attorney Anthony Rickman Addresses Hazing Case on ESPN

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Attorney Anthony Rickman of the Florida law firm Taracks Gomez & Rickman will appear on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” to discuss the Florida A&M University hazing case.

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

At 3:00 EST on March 6, 2013, Attorney Anthony Rickman will appear on ESPN’s television program “Outside the Lines” to discuss the death of Robert Champion Jr. and the Florida A&M University hazing case. Outside the Lines is a show geared at examining pertinent issues surrounding American sports culture both on and off the field.

In November 2011, Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion Jr. was killed in an alleged hazing incident. Twelve former students of the university have since been charged with manslaughter in conjunction with this incident. Attorney Rickman will discuss what hazing is, what it could involve and what Florida law says about this practice.

A general definition of hazing would explain the practice as a type of ritual or rite of passage. Hazing can take place in many different forms, but sometimes it can include harassment, physical abuse and humiliation for the purpose of being accepted into a social group.

According to § 1006.63 of the Florida Statutes, hazing is prohibited. This statute defines hazing as “any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student…” and goes on to say that the purpose behind hazing could include initiation or admission into a group that is “operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution.”

For the Florida A&M University Marching 100 band, the hazing practice known as “crossing bus C” is allegedly how Robert Champion Jr. died. In an ESPN feature on the FAMU hazing, a 2011 FAMU Drum Major was asked if he thought the fact that people thought Champion was gay was a factor in the way people treated him, to which he responded “That definitely played a part in the lack of respect that he would get from other members, because they did feel that way about him (3:53, OTL: FAMU Hazing: Tradition and Tragedy).”

Mr. Rickman will address these and other major issues surrounding this hazing case. Mr. Rickman opened an entertainment and sports law branch of his firm, Taracks Gomez & Rickman. His goal in opening up this branch of the firm is to help athletes and other individuals in the media in court. Mr. Rickman’s background in the sports industry affords him a unique perspective on issues such as this.

Taracks Gomez & Rickman is a Florida law firm that practices personal injury, criminal defense and more. There are former prosecutors on staff at the firm, and overall, the attorneys have more than 40 years of collective experience. The firm offers free consultations, so to learn more, call today.

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