Louisiana State University cancelled an appearance by a former Vanderbilt football player charged with rape after faculty objected to him participating in a talk about sexual assault.
Brandon Banks, a former player for Vanderbilt University, has been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in a case that rocked the university. He is scheduled to go on trial in June.
He was invited to speak to other athletes at LSU about sexual assault, and the invitation so alarmed faculty members, LSU cancelled his appearance, according to a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
LSU, in a statement to the Chronicle, said “Based on feedback from other universities who have held this presentation, we believed it would be a valuable learning experience for our student athletes.” The story noted that Banks has done similar presentations at Alabama and Georgia, among others.
Tyrone White, a motivational speaker who organized the event, said Banks was scheduled “to speak from the role of someone who was not her hero and now is suffering with the consequences in twofold way, realizing, hopefully realizing, the reality of the severity of which he impacted another’s life but also in the moment in terms of how he’s impacted his and his own family’s life.”
That didn’t sway faculty like Kevin Cope, a professor of English who is also president of LSU’s Faculty Senate. He told the Chronicle: “Why in the world would they go to an untutored, ungraduated athlete who is on the brink of standing trial for a felony?”
Banks is one of four former Vanderbilt players who has been charged with raping an unconscious female student in a dorm on campus in 2013. The graphic details of the case can be viewed here.
Two former players — Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey – have been found guilty on all charges in a rape case stemming back to June 23, 2013. Banks and another former player, Jaborian McKenzie, still await trial.
Vanderburg was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and Batey, 15 years.