As expected, James Franklin is looking to mitigate a potentially damaging allegation that surfaced earlier in the day Tuesday.
The Tennessean reported yesterday morning that the former Vanderbilt and current Penn State head coach was accused in court filings of reaching out to an alleged rape victim days after an alleged sexual assault that led to the dismissal of four Commodore football players. The alleged victim reportedly aided Vandy in its football recruiting efforts, prompting Franklin, per the defense attorney for one of the accused, to reach out to her “during a medical examination four days after the [alleged] rape.”
The alleged victim appeared to have been a part of a “hostess program” at the school that would certainly garner the NCAA’s attention. From the paper: “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.”
In a statement released through the university late last night, labeled the accusations false.
“The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true,” Franklin’s statement began. “I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”
Franklin is expected to meet with the media Thursday for the first time since the report of misconduct surfaced.