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Vanderbilt dismisses WR Chris Boyd, who pleaded guilty to trying to cover up rape

Chris Boyd was dismissed from Vanderbilt's football team on Tuesday. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Chris Boyd was dismissed from Vanderbilt's football team on Tuesday. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Chris Boyd, who on Friday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for his role in covering up an alleged rape by four other football players, has been dismissed from the team, the university announced Tuesday.

In August, The Tennessean reported that Brandon Vandenburg, Brandon Banks, Jaborian McKenzie and Corey Batey had each been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual battery. The charges came in connection with the alleged rape of an unconscious woman on June 23. The players had been dismissed from the team later that month.

Boyd was initially charged with a felony in the attempted cover up of the alleged rape. Last week, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. He received an 11-month, 29-day suspended sentence. If he completes his probation, the crime will be cleared from his record.

Prosecutors say that, among other actions, Boyd responded to a text message from Vandenburg during the alleged rape, came to the dorm where the incident had occurred and helped carry the unconscious woman from the hallway to the room of one of the alleged attackers. Boyd then advised the players to delete any photos or videos they had taken.

Vanderbilt had suspended Boyd to start the season. He had been a major contributor for the team last year, catching 50 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns.

His dismissal came after university officials reviewed his guilty plea. Beth Fortune, the school's vice chancellor for public affairs, released the following statement Tuesday:

“Vanderbilt’s athletic administration, in conjunction with its head football coach, today dismissed Chris Boyd from the university’s football team and athletic program. The action came after an ongoing review that included information disclosed during a hearing Sept. 13 in Davidson County Criminal Court. “The review concluded that Mr. Boyd’s admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes.”

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