Vanderbilt releases names of players after alleged sex crime - WKRN News 2

Vanderbilt releases names of football players after alleged sex crime

Posted: Updated: July 15, 2013 09:28 PM

Vanderbilt University has released the names of four football players allegedly involved in a Metro police sex crime investigation.

Brandon Banks, Cory Batey, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Vandenburg will not be a part of the 2013 roster based on a violation of team rules as announced on June 29, the university said Monday.

In a statement, Head Coach James Franklin called it a "privilege, not a right" to be part of Vanderbilt's football program.

He continued, "My coaching staff and I make sure every member of our team understands that. We insist on high standards of personal responsibility and integrity, and there are consequences when those standards are not met.

"In dealing with this matter, the Commodores football team will continue to hold itself to the same high standards of responsibility and integrity Vanderbilt demands of all of our students.

"We are cooperating fully with the Nashville Police Department and have pledged not to say or do anything that could interfere with its work or compromise the rights of anyone involved. We have not prejudged anyone's guilt or innocence."

Coach Franklin's statement sparked debate online and on local radio stations.

On Sports Night, a sports talk show on 102.5 The Game, callers discussed whether Vanderbilt can continue its success on the football field without sacrificing standards.

"I just hope, as an SEC fan, that this is not going to become their culture, the way it is in Florida," said one caller to the show.

A second caller added, "I've always respected the way they coached, the class and the standards that they've held," another caller said. "I've got to completely back up there. I think they may have tested the deep end of the pool."

Show host George Plaster said the incident, isolated or not, could force a decision by the school.

"Are they going to be allowed to continue that process? Or is the Board of Trust going to go, 'Whoa, we don't have the stomach for this'?" Plaster asked.

Plaster continued, "If the rules get changed on [Coach James Franklin] and he figures out he can't win, he's not staying here."

Following Coach Franklin's statement Monday afternoon, Banks' lawyer, Grover Collins, released a statement which said, in part, "Mr. Banks maintains his innocence to any and all wrongdoing.  We are fully cooperating with the police in this investigation and have appealed the decision by the university."

A female student was allegedly sexually assaulted in an on-campus dormitory late last month.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

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