clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

James Franklin says he bluffed Vanderbilt players about crime video

In a testimony revealed Wednesday, the Penn State head coach said he hadn't seen the video of an alleged rape that involved his former players, though he told the team otherwise at the time.

In testimony revealed in Nashville court Wednesday, former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin said he has not seen video of an alleged rape committed by four Commodores players in an on-campus dorm room in June 2013.

That's a departure from the comments Franklin, now the head coach at Penn State, testified he made to his Commodores players, whom he told he saw the video and it was "disgusting."

Nashville's district attorney said last September that there's no evidence Franklin did anything wrong after published rumors that the coach had seen footage of the alleged crime and attempted a coverup.

"To this day, I still have never seen any of the videos," said Franklin, appearing via Skype. Franklin said that he told the team otherwise because he didn't want to "water down" the message. When asked if he lied to the team, Franklin said "no sir."

"I didn't want to go in and water my message down to the team. I didn't want to say I was told that I saw a video from somebody else. That's what I did; I addressed the team and 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."

Franklin said he was vacationing in Florida when he was first contacted about the incident, and after returning to campus as asked, the investigation had already been taken over by police and he was told to "stay out of it."

Former football players Brandon Vandenburg, Corey Batey, Jaborian McKenzie and Brandon Banks were dismissed from Vanderbilt after each was charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. All four have since pled not guilty.