DEFENSE ATTORNEYS for Brandon Vandenburg, one of the four Vanderbilt players who was charged with aggravated rape last June, filed a motion that involved information citing new Penn State head football coach James Franklin, The Tennessean reported yesterday.
According to the newspaper, the 24-page court filing said Franklin, Vanderbilt's head coach at the time, along with strength coach Dwight Galt, now in the same position at Penn State, contacted the victim 4 days after the alleged rape because "they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting."
Vandenburg, along with former Vanderbilt football players Corey Batey, Brandon Eric Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, was kicked off the team after the alleged on-campus rape of the 21-year-old woman.
Without the context of timing, the report also noted court records saying Franklin had other contact with the victim about aiding the recruiting process at Vanderbilt.
"Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get 15 pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it," the Nashville newspaper reported, citing the the defense's court filing.
According to The Tennessean, citing the court filing, lawyers say there is an abundance of missing evidence in the case.
* The majority of more than 27,000 text messages and 220 calls on the alleged victim's phone, of which just 47 calls or texts were provided to the defense.
* Text messages and phone records from three team staff members, Franklin, Galt and Vanderbilt associate director of athletics Kevin Colon.
* Text messages between Vandenburg and the alleged victim, as well as between him and former wide receiver Chris Boyd and co-defendant Corey Batey.
Reached by The Tennessean, Franklin declined to comment on the report. He is, however, scheduled to meet with the media tomorrow afternoon at Pegula Ice Arena on the Penn State campus on the first stop of the coaches caravan.
Given Penn State's recent history with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, there were some questions raised when Franklin, a Langhorne native, was tabbed as the university's 16th head coach on Jan. 11. Questions about the vetting process regarding Franklin's handling of the Vanderbilt case were asked at the coach's introductory press conference in January. Franklin called the case "the most challenging thing I've been through personally, as the father of two daughters, and professionally" and added he had a very thorough conversation about it with the Penn State coaching search committee.
Neither Vanderbilt nor Penn State responded to requests for comment, The Tennessean reported.