Suspect in Vandy rape case removed from CA football team - WSMV News 4

Suspect in Vandy rape case removed from CA football team

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Butte College in California has removed Brandon Banks, one of the four men charged in the Vanderbilt rape case, from its football team after the Channel 4 I-Team asked questions about why he was able to play.

Despite facing five counts of aggravated rape, the I-Team had just learned Banks was on the school's 2014 roster.

"The director of athletics contacted me ... he wanted to ask my advice," Al Renville, director of student affairs at Butte College, said Monday. "Whether or not there is an issue with a student at a former college, I did not know if he was still attending or left the college, but he had been accused of sexual assault.

"If there is no action that had been taken, or the person is not on their way to jail for being convicted, so anybody has the ability to go to school at Butte," Renville added.

Since Monday's interview, Renville said the school has heard backlash from the community and had a change of heart.

Butte College President Dr. Kimberly Perry said Banks would be "removed from the football team effective immediately" for "violating the student athlete code of conduct."

"Butte College has a strong code of conduct for all student athletes, and clearly with the charges pending, the student should not have been allowed to participate on the team," Perry said.

Banks is not the only suspect who has returned to the football field.

Last week, the I-Tema uncovered that co-defendant Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie was playing for Alcorn State.

Butte College said it will now conduct an immediate review of its athletic enrollment policies.

"If it is not our student and someone has been accused of something that has happened at another school in another state, then ... we would allow them to be admitted to Butte," Renville said Monday. "Then it would be up to the coaches to determine whether or not, based upon the information they find or the information the student tells them, as to whether or not they should be allowed to be on the team."

The I-Team called Banks' attorney for comment. He said Banks is just trying to move on with his life.

The District Attorney's office said they did not have anything to say about this case.

Defense attorneys have indicated it is likely Banks and McKenzie will take a plea deal in exchange for their testimony against the two other suspects, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg.

The trial is expected to begin in November.

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