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Southern University band director fired days after internal investigation

Band director Nathan Haymer allegedly violated state ethics laws with some of his actions

3:54 PMSouthern University is ending an era of marching band excellence after making the decision to fire band director Nathan Haymer earlier this week.

Haymer’s fate was decided days after reports surfaced alleging that the band director had violated state ethics laws by demanding personal payments from organizations after band performances, according to ABC affiliate WBRZ 2. An internal investigation followed a lawsuit in which Haymer was accused of violating a contract by requesting a “kickback” for the band to perform at an event.

Haymer confirmed the termination and maintained his innocence through a statement sent the day of his firing.

“It was my goal to uphold the prestigious legacy of the Human Jukebox by taking the band to greater heights of unprecedented success,” Haymer said in his statement. “I always took pride in being an ambassador for Southern University and at no time did I ever act in a nefarious manner by accepting ‘kickbacks’ as falsely reported by the media.

“Being the Director of Bands at Southern has indeed been the honor of my life and I will always treasure the experience. I leave our Human Jukebox in a better place today in terms of funding, equipment and popularity than ever before. Lastly, I would like to thank the students, alumni and the Jaguar Nation for their unwavering support of me and the Human Jukebox over my last twelve years as assistant director and Director of Bands.”

According to The Advocate, members of the band advocated on Haymer’s behalf, attending Southern’s board of supervisors meeting Friday morning and pleading for Haymer to keep his job.

“I know these kids and I know the love they have for him and this staff,” band supporter Jonathan Dearbone told The Advocate. “I don’t condone a wrong, but there’s so many ways to look at a situation.”

The news is sending shock waves throughout the historically black college and university band community. A 2001 graduate of Southern, Haymer earned his respect from colleagues as assistant band director before taking over as band director in 2014. The band gained even more acclaim under his leadership and finished No. 1 overall in the inaugural ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU band rankings last season.

Clark Atlanta University chooses a new men’s hoops coach, and it’s another ex-NBA player

George Lynch, who played at North Carolina and with five NBA teams, has his first head coaching job

9:49 AMWhen your last former-NBA player-turned coach wins 45 games in two years, it makes sense for you to go out and hire someone with a similar résumé.

The oft-used proverb “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was obviously at play as Clark Atlanta University introduced former Philadelphia 76er George Lynch as its new head men’s basketball coach Monday. The hiring comes roughly a month after the departure of former New York Knicks player Darrell Walker, who left for the University of Arkansas, Little Rock in late March.

Lynch was a journeyman, playing for five NBA teams, including stints with the then-New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Before taking the job with Panthers, the former small forward was coaching with a Detroit Pistons G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive.

The 12-year NBA veteran’s crowning moment, however, was as a North Carolina Tar Heel. Remember Chris Webber’s ill-advised timeout that cost the Fab Five the 1992-93 NCAA championship? Lynch helped force it.

20 years ago today Chris Webber called a timeout that he did not have, sealing a national championship for North Carolina. from CollegeBasketball

Look at that ball pressure! Wolverine fans have Lynch to blame for one of the biggest folds in basketball history. A senior at the time, the four-year player also took home All-Tournament and East Regional MVP honors that year as well as being drafted in the first round of the ’93 draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Having spent four years under the legendary Dean Smith, there’s no doubt the Panthers are hoping this translates to wins as soon as possible in Lynch’s first head coaching gig. Lynch, however, will have big shoes to fill after Walker’s short yet successful stint in Atlanta.

“It was an honor to take this interview and follow up coach Darrell Walker,” Lynch said at the news conference announcing his hiring. “He’s done a great job at leading the young men and the university. I’d like to continue their success in seeing these young men graduate and follow their dreams. That’s my goal.”

According to AJC.com, Lynch played under Walker for two seasons when he was an assistant coach with the Hornets. He turned to him about the Clark Atlanta job, which had more than 60 applicants.