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Vanderbilt Wide Receiver Chris Boyd Dismissed From Team

mrsec-breaking-newsVanderbilt has dismissed wide receiver Chris Boyd from the football team.  Here’s the statement from the university:

 

Vanderbilt’s athletic administration, in conjunction with its head football coach, today dismissed Chris Boyd from the university’s football team and athletic program. The action came after an ongoing review that included information disclosed during a hearing Sept. 13 in Davidson County Criminal Court.

The review concluded that Mr. Boyd’s admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes.

 

Charged with a felony accessory after the fact in a campus rape case, Boyd cut a deal with prosecutors last week that gave him a misdemeanor charge that can be wiped from his record in a year.  He also has to testify against four ex-teammates.

Four ex-Vanderbilt players are accused of raping an unconscious female student in June.   At the hearing last week, deputy district attorney general  Tom Thurman said in court that Boyd, Vanderbilt tight end Dillon van der Wal and starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels carried the partially nude woman from a hallway where she had been dumped back into the room of one of the men prosecutors say sexually assaulted her.

Boyd had 50 catches for 774 yards for Vanderiblt last season.

Update: Prosecutors now say Carta-Samuels was “misidentified” as having been on the scene after the attack. According to a spokeswoman for the DA’s Office, “based upon the evidence collected to date, Boyd wrongly identified student Austyn Carta-Samuels as someone who participated in helping move the victim.”

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Vandy Wide Receiver Chris Boyd Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor Charge

mrsec-breaking-newsVanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd, charged with a felony accessory after the fact in a rape case, has cut a deal with prosecutors that gives him a misdemeanor charge that can be wiped from his record.

The Tennessean says Boyd pleaded guilty to “criminal intent” to being an accessory after the fact.  He’ll be placed on probation for 11 months and 29 days.  If he completes it, his record will be cleared.  As part of the deal, he agreed to testify against four former teammates. At issue was video evidence of the alleged sexual assault.

Four ex-Vanderbilt players are accused of raping an unconscious female student in June.  In court today, a prosecutor mentioned that cocaine might have been involved the night of the rape.  Boyd’s name was not connected to cocaine use.

Prosecutor Tom Thurman said one of the four ex-players asked Boyd for help the night of the incident and that Boyd, Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta Samuels and Vanderbilt tight end Dillon van der Wal helped move the alleged victim.

A Vanderbilt spokeswoman says Boyd will remain suspended from the team pending further review.  He remains on scholarship.

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Franklin Denies Trying To Help Cover Up Vandy Rape Case

James-Franklin-contemplativeOn Saturday afternoon, the website Buzzfeed.com published a report on the recent rape case associated with the Vanderbilt football program.  Four players were dismissed from the team after being arrested in connection with the rest.  A fifth player — receiver Chris Boyd — was suspended after he was arrested for allegedly aiding his teammates in covering up the crime.

The Buzzfeed report made new claims: “But many disturbing details about the alleged crimes — including what is described as a racially charged video an an allegation that Vanderbilt coach James Franklin told a player to delete footage of the incident, which he strongly denies — have not been reported until now.”

Writer Bobby Allyn — a first-time Buzzfeed contributor — says his piece was “based on two dozen interviews with students, attorneys, and others with direct knowledge of the night and the ongoing investigation.”

Allyn wrote:

 

“A source close to one of the defendants said he believes that Franklin encouraged a player to delete a video of the incident after the player showed it to Franklin.

‘I’m 99.9% sure that Franklin saw the video,’ the source said.  ‘And I wouldn’t be surprised if the public finds this out soon.’

‘Coach Franklin denies that emphatically,’ said Hal Hardin, Franklin’s attorney.  ‘People always speculate and gossip.  There is no truth to that accusation whatsoever.  It’s inflammatory.’”

 

Yesterday, Vanderbilt’s third-year coach himself tackled the accusation:

 

“There’s nobody that understands the seriousness of this situation more than me.  I could not be more sympathetic to the alleged victim.  It’s a very, very serious issue, and I’m not going to waste your time or mine reacting to baseless statements.  I’m not going to do it.

We’ve cooperated fully with the university.  We’ve cooperated fully with the authorities.  And that’s really as far as I’m going to go with it.  I’m not going to waste your time or mine.”

 

When a source-based story like this makes headlines, you must first determine the credibility of the writer.  You don’t know the sources, so you really have to decide for yourself if you trust the author’s judgement when it comes to who is and who isn’t a credible source.

We face that on this site.  We’ve been doing this for more than five years now.  The three main writers on this site have about 60 years of media history tied to their names.  There’s a body of work that you can choose to trust or not trust when it comes to our opinions or source-based stories.

So who is Bobby Allyn?  According to his Twitter feed he’s a “freelance journalist” based in Nashville who also happens to be an “inveterate collector of blazers.”  Ah, but his resume boasts that he studied at American University and has written for The Tennessean, The Oregonian and The New York Times.

More importantly, Allyn was the courts reporter for The Tennessean in Nashville.  He and a number of other writers were laid off recently as the Gannett chain dumped nearly 200 more jobs across its empire.  But as the local courts reporter, one must assume that Allyn would indeed have enough contacts in legal and law enforcement circles to piece together some pretty good information on the Vanderbilt rape case.

That doesn’t mean that his source is correct about Franklin, of course.  Sources — even good ones — can occasionally be wrong.

The concern for Vanderbilt and Franklin, however, is not Allyn’s accusations.  It’s the fact that Allyn’s accusations might lead a lot of other enterprising investigative journalists to start snooping around Nashville’s West End.  Who knows what they might find?

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Vanderbilt Wide Receiver Chris Boyd Indicted In Rape Case, Suspended From Team

gavel-scalesVanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd was one of three additional people indicted Friday in connection with the rape of a 21-year old woman this summer.

The 21-year old Boyd was charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact. According to a press release, he is “essentially accused of taking part in an attempted cover up of the sexual assault through his advice to certain defendants who were indicted last week. “ He was suspended from the football team. The other men indicted Friday were high school friends and teammates of Brandon Vandenburg, one of the four former Vanderbilt players charged with multiple counts of rape.

Metro Nashville Police Steve Anderson said Friday: “We are looking at all persons who may have been involved in this event, before, during and after the fact. Additional charges cannot be ruled out.”

Boyd is a junior wide receiver with 81 career receptions for 1,247 yards and 13 touchdowns. He caught 50 passes for 774 yards and  five touchdowns last year.

All charges in the case stem from a rape of an unconscious woman in a Vanderbilt dormitory back on June 23.

Update: Boyd turned himself in to police this morning.

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