Vandy coach Franklin dismisses report in rape case - WSMV Channel 4

Vandy coach Franklin dismisses report in rape case

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin says a report accusing him of encouraging a player to delete video of an alleged rape by four former Commodores are "baseless statements" that he's not going to waste time responding.

Buzzfeed.com quoted an unnamed person close to one of the defendants Saturday saying he believes Franklin did encourage a player to delete the video after it was shown to the coach.

When asked about the report Monday, Franklin called it a very serious issue and said he has cooperated fully with university officials and authorities.

The coach said, "I'm not going to waste your time or mine reacting to baseless statements."

The writer of the article, Bobby Allen, spoke on a Nashville sports radio talk show Monday, where the host asked how confident Allen is in the source who said Franklin encouraged a player to delete the video.

"He has seen or heard, rather, that James Franklin instructed a player to delete the video after a player showed the coach video of what happened," Allen said.

Vanderbilt dismissed the four players June 29, and they were indicted on five counts of aggravated rape in August.

The Buzzfeed article criminal attorney Hal Hardin has been hired by Franklin, but when Channel 4 News spoke with Hardin on Monday, he said he's simply an advisor of Franklin's.

While Franklin could say nothing else about the article's claim, he did speak of woman at the center of the rape case.

"I could not be more sympathetic to the alleged victim. It's a very serious issue," Franklin said.

Franklin also said at the news conference, "There's nobody that understands the seriousness of this situation more than me."

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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