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Penn State Football: Franklin Testifies In Vanderbilt Rape Case

by on October 08, 2014 3:00 PM

WKRN News 2

Penn State head coach James Franklin testified via Skype on Wednesday as part of the ongoing Vanderbilt football rape trial.

Former football players Brandon Vandenburg, Corey Batey, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie and Brandon Banks have been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery for the alleged rape of a student that occurred on June 23, 2013.

All four student athletes were suspended and eventually removed from the team and university shortly thereafter.

Vacationing in Florida at the time of the incident, Franklin testified that he was called back to campus by the university because football players were allegedly involved.

"Basically I was following orders from the university, from legal, from the administration and that was basically to stay out of it." Franklin testified about his actions once he returned to Nashville.

"I did have a team meeting to basically address that there was a problem. And then after that a number of those young gentlemen came into my office to plead their case and all I said to them is that I can't talk to you about the case, you better take this very seriously, you should tell your parents and you should be honest because you'll be dealing with the consequences of this for the rest of your life."

Asked if he had seen the surveillance video Franklin responded, "No sir, to this day I still have not seen any of the videos."

Franklin would later be asked if he remembered telling the media that he had seen the video and that it was disgusting.

"I remember telling the media that I told the team that," Franklin testified. "I did tell the team that in the team meeting.

"So coach Franklin, did you lie?" Franklin was asked.

"No sir, what happened was I went to the team meeting just after I got done meeting with the administration and I didn't want to go in there and water my message down to the team. I didn't want to say 'I was told that I saw the video' from somebody else and that's what I did. I addressed the team, i spoke as if I had seen the video because I was angry and upset and I didn't want to water down the message to them."

The remainder of Franklin's nearly 15 minute long testimony centered around specific dates of his travel to campus from Florida and the time of the team meeting. Franklin largely could not remember specific dates and times but was confident that his travels back from Florida to Nashville occurred on the same day as the team meeting.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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