March 13th, 2014 11:30 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Vanderbilt
Tags: DA, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Vandy
Last year right on up through this January, anytime we wrote of the Vanderbilt rape case we would receive several nasty emails from Commodore fans accusing us of trying to hurt James Franklin’s reputation. That was nonsense then — we said we didn’t think he was involved in a cover-up — and it’s nonsense now. But are Vandy fans still so worried about Franklin’s image?
Here’s guessing they’re not.
A judge ruled yesterday that some of the records from the case should now be released to the media as the public has a right to see them. ”Some text messages, emails and other material collected by Vanderbilt University” should now be given to the press. However, the judge put a stay on his own order — delaying the release of the information — pending an appeal from the Metro government which has tried to keep the documents hidden.
You might recall that a lawyer for one of the four ex-VU footballers accused of sexual assault said last year that the defense team should be allowed to see all records of cell phone and text communications between the players and their coaches after the attack allegedly took place. Depending on which text message transcripts are released to the public — if they’re released — we may soon see for ourselves whether or not Franklin or any other assistants were in communication with the players as they attempted to cover their tracks.
One wonders at this point if some, many, or most Vanderbilt fans haven’t flip-flopped on this case altogether since Franklin up and skedaddled to Penn State just weeks before National Signing Day. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to learn that some of the same people who wanted the press to stop trying to find dirt on Franklin while he was at Vandy would now want the press to dig away and expose their ex-coach as a fraud.
Let’s just say we believe it’s probably a safe bet that The Tennessean — which led the charge to get the records released — is getting fewer angry emails today than they would have if Franklin were still coaching on Nashville’s West End. So now it’s Penn State fans’ turn to sweat and fret the possibility that something negative about Franklin might come to light thanks to this potential records release.
Now, the DA’s office has made it very clear that they found zero evidence of any wrongdoing tied to Franklin. We still have absolutely no reason to doubt them. But if these records are released, we’ll all be able to finally see for ourselves what — if any — involvement Franklin had in the players’ attempted cover-up.
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