Former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, now at Penn State, has been accused of reaching out a to an alleged rape victim days after an alleged sexual assault that led to the dismissal of four football players at Vanderbilt. Franklin, according to documents submitted by the defense of one of the former players, contacted the alleged victim during a medical examination.
Per The Tennessean;
Referring to records, the attorneys said the victim was contacted by Franklin and [former director of performance enhancement Dwight] Galt during a medical examination four days after the rape to explain “that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting.”
It went on to say that at some point, “Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen 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.”
What Franklin knowing the victim means for the outcome of the case is unknown. It is also unknown if the alleged victim’s role with the football program carries any influence on how the case was handled and investigated. However, if Franklin had a role in organizing a hostess program, that is a new development in the entire story.
What is probably clear is Penn State has either done an extremely thorough vetting process and determined there is absolutely nothing to be concerned with in the long-term, or the school totally swung and missed on the biggest black cloud that could potentially linger over the new head coach. Given the position Penn State has been in since 2011, the margin for error is barely existent. Franklin has steered away from commenting on the Vanderbilt situation since he was hired by Penn State, and Penn State officials have previously stated they hired Franklin with great confidence.
The defense team also states a good amount of evidence from the investigation has disappeared, which is leading the defense to ask for a dismissal of the case or for prosecutors to be reprimanded. Evidence said to be missing includes text messages and phone call records on the alleged victim’s phone, social media posts, police interview records, DNA test results and more.