Prosecutors in the rape case involving former Vanderbilt football players took aim at allegations from defense attorneys Tuesday. A district attorney said the legal team representing Brandon Vandenburg filed court documents with baseless allegations designed to intimidate the victim and malign prosecutors. Those allegations also mentioned former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, now at Penn State, and linked to him to knowing and making contact with the alleged victim. Franklin’s connection to the rape case has been one of comfort and care for the victim, a prosecutor says.
“He did,” make contact with the alleged victim, deputy district attorney Tom Thurman said in a phone interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think he and his wife called and said they were praying for her and thinking about her. It was probably a pretty nice thing to do, and it gets thrown up like this.”
Defense attorneys mentioned Franklin had contacted the victim at some point in time about gathering female students to help with recruiting. Franklin has stated his involvement with the case has always been to cooperate with authorities investigating the case. Franklin is set to begin an extended bus tour to meet with Penn State alums throughout the Pennsylvania and mid-Atlantic region.
“Obviously, it wasn’t for any purpose of covering up or anything like that,” Thurman added. “It was showing support, which was a nice thing to do. That’s the only contact I know about.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah