Vandy rape case declared mistrial

 

 

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 20.59.59

The Vanderbilt rape case has been declared a mistrial.

The case was thrown out because the jury foreman did not admit that he was once the victim of a sexual assault.

Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg had both been accused of crimes of aggravated rape and sexual battery, and were found guilty five months ago on five counts of the former and two counts of the latter.

According to CBS, both players had been waiting sentencing before the revelations took place, which might mean that they avoid decades of jail-time.

The trial, CBS noted, “featured graphic video and photographic evidence showing the unconscious female student being violated in the dorm room“, accusing the players of owning that footage.

Two other players – Jaborian McKenzie and Brandon Banks – are still awaiting whether their cases will be ‘mistrialed’.

Prosecutors have said that the case will be retried. Both Batey and Vandenburg have to wear tracking anklets so police know their whereabouts.

 

BOTTOM LINE: I’m sorry, but I’m too disgusted to go into more detail about this for the time being.

Former Vanderbilt players found guilty of rape

Two former Vanderbilt games have been found guilty of the rape of a student in 2013.

Brandon Vandenburg and Corey Batey were found to have brought the unconscious, unnamed student up to his dorm room after drinking after taking her to their bedroom, where Vandenburg photographed the assault, according to ESPN.

Two other players – Brandon E. Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, are still waiting to be tried.

The news shocked the campus in September 2013….but what has also haunted the campus was the cover-up by other football players of the action. This included star wide receiver Chris Boyd, who was booted for his role in covering up the gang rape. Boyd was given a yearlong probation in return for testifying against the defendants in the case.

The news service added that they are faced decades in jail.

 

Vanderbilt investigated by US Government

Vanderbilt is to be investigated by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for its handling of possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.

This should be no surprise to the SEC university’s administration, who is facing new allegations that then-football coach James Franklin tried to persuade a rape victim to be one of a more than 10 girls to become ‘hostesses’ for the university’s recruiting purposes.

The school is one of a number of schools currently under US Government investigation for violating Title IX.

Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Vanderbilt fans will be pleased to hear that they aren’t the only school under investigation. Sadly, there are a large number of them.

Notable colleges include Ohio State, UNC (Chapel Hill), Cal, Southern Cal, Florida State, Colorado (Boulder), Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Washington State, Indiana as well as Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth.

The full list can be seen here.

BOTTOM LINE: While we have no clue what powers the authorities can yield in these investigations (and nor have they said anything), it’ll be interesting to see how many SEC schools end up on the lists in the future, especially their fevered recruiting practices. What also will interest us is how a transparent list like this may affect recruiting for female athletes at schools, including cheerleading.

Vanderbilt boots WR Boyd

Vanderbilt has said that it has expelled its second starting wide receiver Chris Boyd in connection with allegations around the rape case at the school earlier this year.

Boyd was accused of helping to cover up the rape of an undisclosed woman at a university dorm in late June.

A warning: This excerpt from a USA Today post will make your stomach turn: “On Friday at a plea hearing for former wide receiver Chris Boyd, Deputy District Attorney General Tom Thurman read details in court that indicated Boyd and two others helped move an unconscious 21-year-old woman from a hallway back into a dorm room after she had been raped. He didn’t name the other individuals, but read a text out loud in which Boyd identified Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels and tight end Dillon van der Wal, as helping to move her.”

Apparently, the text identifying Vanderbilt’s QB as one of the people helping to move the woman’s body was simply an identification rather than fact.

The DA said: “However, based upon the evidence collected to date, Boyd wrongly identified student Austyn Carta-Samuels as someone who participated in helping move the victim.

BOTTOM LINE: This is an horrific crime, and Boyd – if this is true – deserves to go to jail. On the footballing end, the loss of Boyd will continue to weaken Vanderbilt’s offense – especially with Georgia and Florida still to play. The good news for Vandy fans is that Austyn Carta-Samuels will continue to play.

Anchor Up or Down? 2013 Vanderbilt preview

James Franklin has got the Vanderbilt program in something of a stir. After years in the SEC doldrums after doing nothing since the Jay Cutler years, James Franklin has brought in a new confidence into Nashville, and with it, they’ve reached a bowl in their last two seasons, and more’s the case, are laughing at Tennessee, who’s having a shameful time.

And although Vandy has definitely recruited well – an ESPN ranking of 22 for last year – there’s a dark cloud that’s been brought over the program, and that’s due to a rape that took place in late June this year that has ensared five Vanderbilt players – including four that have been booted off the team (and one who was indicted last week) – including No.2 wide receiver Chris Boyd.

But will the off-season distractions stop Vanderbilt from negotiating the schedule?

LAST SEASON

Vanderbilt had an astonishing season in 2012, going 9-4 – which included a 38-24 Music City Bowl beat-down of NC State and a six-match unbeaten run to end the year. There’s no question that this was a back-loaded schedule, which saw Vanderbilt loses the games it was meant to lose and win the ones it was meant to win – and a lot of them in very convincing fashion. From Vandy fans’ point-of-view, the game of the season had to be the game against Ole Miss, which the Commodores won 27-26 in a stormer of a game.

The heroes last season on the offense were quarterback Jordan Rodgers (2,539 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs), running back Zac Stacy (1,141 yards, 10 TDs), wide receiver Jordan Matthews (1,323 yards, 8 TDs).

OFFENSE

Goodbye and thank you for a great career to Jordan Rodgers and Zac Stacy. Rodgers is currently a free agent in the NFL and Stacy is playing for the St Louis Rams. Austyn Carter-Samuels will take on the role of starting QB (he had 208 yards and 1 TD last year), while Matthews and Boyd both return as receivers. Vanderbilt’s rushing game will depend on the partnership of Wesley Tate and Brian Kimbrow, who had nearly 800 yards of rushing work between them.

The biggest problem for Vanderbilt (apart from the obvious replacement of talent), is: Who’s going to replace Matthews if he gets injured and Boyd is suspended or thrown off the team for the event in June? Also, can Carta-Samuels really step up to SEC play, after spending years plying his trade with Wyoming?

DEFENSE

Defense was a real strength for Vandy last year, who ranked 5th in the SEC in yards per game (333.9) and 19th nationally. They kept the scoring down to under 19 points per game, good for 5th in the SEC and 15th. In other words, this was an above-average defense that James Franklin put together. This year they return six starters.

The group’s defensive line is ferocious, with DEs Walker May, Kyle Woestmann and Caleb Azubike, who contributed 13 sacks and 10 tackles for loss between them. And at linebacker, starters Chase Gardham and Karl Butler return, and in the secondary, Andre Hal also comes back to the corner, as do free safety and leading tackler Kenny Ladler and strong safety Javon Marshall.

SCHEDULE

Aug 29 – Ole Miss 
Sept 7 – Austin Peay
Sept 14 – @ South Carolina
Sept 21 – @ UMass (in Gillette Stadium)
Sept 28 – UAB
Oct 5 – Missouri
Oct 19 – Georgia
Oct 26 – @ TAMU
Nov 9 @ Florida
Nov 16 – Kentucky
Nov 23 – @ Tennessee
Nov 30 – Wake Forest

Vandy goes into Opening Night of the college football season against Ole Miss, in a rivalry game that hasn’t had a break since 1945. And although the result is a bit of a toss-up, Vandy should roll Austin Peay, get rolled at South Carolina, and roll UMass and UAB at home and beat Missouri – if Missouri can’t solve their problems at offensive line. We expect Vanderbilt to give Georgia the same sort of test as they did in 2011 (without the fight, hopefully), but to struggle at Kyle Field against Texas A&M, as well as in The Swamp – although in the The Swamp they’ll keep it close because Florida’s offense is so, well, offensive. They should comfortably beat Kentucky and win a close one at Tennessee, before rounding out the season by winning the Battle Of The Rich Private Schools  against Wake Forest.

BOTTOM LINE: We expect them to go 7-5, but this will be very dependent on what happens to Boyd, the development of Carter-Samuels, and if Jordan Matthews can continue the same incredible season as he had in 2012. So in other words, a lot of moving parts. But that’s a bowl game for Vanderbilt fans, and that’ll suit them nicely.

Vanderbilt starting WR indicted in rape case

Vanderbilt starting wide receiver Chris Boyd has been indicted in the rape case that has shaken the Vanderbilt football program, according to the Tennessean.

Boyd, who had 50 receptions for 774 yards and 5 TD in the 2014 season, has been suspended by head coach James Franklin, has been charged with trying to cover up the assault, which happened on June 23rd.

The release said: “Boyd, 21, is charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact. He is essentially accused of taking part in an attempted cover up of the sexual assault through his advice to certain defendants who were indicted last week. Boyd’s representatives have been made aware of the indictment. He is expected to surrender.

A report by CBS Sports.com said that this is a felony count.

The release added that Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier set Boyd’s bond at $25,000.

Vanderbilt said: “Today the Davidson County District Attorney charged Chris Boyd, a member of the Vanderbilt football team, with accessory after the fact related to the incident that occurred in a Vanderbilt residence hall June 23. The charges follow those announced Aug. 9 stemming from the same incident. All of these allegations, including those brought today, are deeply troubling, and we take them very seriously.

Pursuant to the athletic department conduct policy, Mr. Boyd has been suspended from the football team, pending further review.

We continue to respect that at this point in the criminal justice process no determination of guilt has been made.  We continue to cooperate closely with the District Attorney’s office and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.”

 

Another two defendants – Miles Joseph Finley, 19, of Bermuda Dunes, California, and Joseph Dominick Quinzio, 20, of Palm Desert, California – who were friends of Brandon Vandenburg – were also indicted for tampering with evidence.

Recruiting: New WR commits to Mississippi State

Wide receiver Scott Austin has committed to Mississippi State, it has been widely reported.

The 6 ft 4, 180 lbs receiver out of Biloxi was ranked as the 14th best player in the State by Rivals.

“It came to the point where I had a lot of stress on me on where I wanted to go and who really wanted me at heart,” he told the Clarion-Ledger. “MSU has five receivers leaving and this is a good opportunity to probably start as a true freshman.”

He is the third player in the Dan Mullen’s 2013 receiving corps to be over 6 ft 3, the Clarion Ledger noted.

Southern Miss had also recruited Austin.