Former Vandy football player in rape case to play at Lane
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) A former Vanderbilt football player accused of raping an unconscious student has been admitted to Lane College, and the coach there said he will play football.
Lane President Logan Hampton told The Jackson Sun on Monday night that 21-year-old Brandon Banks had been admitted, and head football coach Derrick Burroughs confirmed Banks is on campus and will sign with the team.
Hampton and Burroughs didn't respond to emails sent by The Associated Press on Tuesday, and Banks' attorney didn't return a message.
Banks was indicted in the case along with three other former Vanderbilt football players. Two of the players, 22-year-old Brandon Vandenburg and 21-year-old Cory Batey, were found guilty in January, but a mistrial was declared because of an issue with a juror. They're set for a second trial on Nov. 30.
Banks and the fourth man charged, Jaborian ''Tip'' McKenzie, are awaiting trial.
Hampton told The Jackson Sun there was ''hesitation'' in admitting Banks to the college, which is affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
But Hampton said he and the school's chaplain and executive vice president, the Rev. Dr. Moses Goldmon, asked themselves what good the college could do in this situation.
''If the church isn't open to him, who is?'' Hampton said. ''He's a student who's seeking to be educated, and we are a college that's focused on educating the whole student.''
Cinda Gee is clinical program manager at the Women/Men's Resource and Rape Assistance Program, or WRAP, in Jackson. In an interview with the AP on Tuesday, she wouldn't comment specifically on Banks' case, but did say she understands any concerns about him being on the campus and that ''schools have the responsibility to keep their campuses safe.''
''There's always concern ... because the rate of assaults on college campuses is extremely high,'' Gee said.
It's the second college football team Banks, from Brandywine, Maryland, has been accepted to since being charged with rape more than two years ago. He signed to play at Butte (California) College in September 2014, but was dismissed because his pending criminal charges violated the school's student-athlete code of conduct.
Banks took a redshirt year at Vanderbilt in 2012. He was suspended from the team and ultimately dismissed from the university following the rape charges.
McKenzie, a Woodville, Mississippi, native, has been at Alcorn State since 2013. He played one game of that season before being removed from the team by then-president M. Christopher Brown II, who said at the time that the university ''made an error in judgment.''
But then in 2014, McKenzie played in 12 games, according to the school's athletics website.
Alcorn State coach Jay Hopson told the AP on Tuesday that he wasn't able to comment about McKenzie's eligibility. The school's sports information director Herman Shelton confirmed McKenzie is still on the roster.
University spokeswoman Clara Ross Stamps did not respond to a message seeking comment.
AP sportswriter David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this report.
Information from: The Jackson Sun, http://www.jacksonsun.com