Penn State Football: Franklin Resurfaces In Vanderbilt Investigation
A published report in Tennessee says James Franklin contacted a rape victim just days after she was allegedly assaulted by several Vanderbilt football players.
According to The Tennessean, lawyers for one of the players filed court papers Tuesday that say the victim was contacted by Franklin and Dwight Galt during a medical examination four days after the rape to explain "that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting." Galt was the director of performance enhancement at Vanderbilt. Franklin is now head football coach at Penn State. Galt works in a similar capacity at Penn State.
The report also says that at some point Franklin called the woman in for a private meeting and "told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules."
Penn State released a statement from Franklin that says, “The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true. I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”
Four former Vanderbilt players were all charged with aggravated rape last June. Police said a 21-year-old female student was assaulted in a dorm room.
Those allegations were widely-known before Franklin was hired as Penn State's new head football coach.
“There’s been allegations about Coach Franklin,” Nashville Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman said this past November. ”We just wanted to state clearly that there’s no evidence whatsoever where Coach Franklin was involved in any way in the cover-up or has done anything inappropriate. He’s cooperated with us.”
Penn State administrators said they had done their due diligence and that Franklin was thoroughly vetted. "..My belief, without a doubt, is that James Franklin is a man of extremely high character," Athletic Director Dave Joyner said at the time of Franklin's hiring.
"That when presented with a terrible situation, and God forbid, I wish we never had occasion to learn about James Franklin and how he would handle something like that, but having said that, the way he handled that situation and this has to do with the collective of everything we went through, plus our interviews, discussions with our athletics integrity officer, with counsel, with everybody there, he answered every question forth rightly and with great honesty."
The new allegations are contained in court documents asking to have charges dismissed against Brandon Vandenburg, one of the former Vanderbilt players charged with rape.
StateCollege.com will have more on this as the story develops.