A new court filing in the case against four former Vanderbilt University football players charged with rape seeks evidence of text messages sent by "coaches" that lawyers for one of the ex-players think could shed light on what happened.
The filing by attorneys for one of the players offers the first suggestion in court proceedings that members of the Vanderbilt football staff might have had some level of involvement in the incident that would be relevant to the criminal investigation.
California-based defense attorneys for former player Brandon Vandenburg said in their motion that a "large amount" of evidence has not been provided to them by Davidson County authorities as it should have been under the rules of discovery in criminal cases.
The attorneys have been reviewing evidence provided on 57 CDs and DVDs, but said some discs were defective and that they have not gotten other items, including statements by witnesses, evidence on other discs, "text messages from witnesses and coaches," and other records.
Vanderbilt spokeswoman and vice chancellor Beth Fortune, in an emailed statement, did not answer questions about text messages from coaches.
"The issues raised by the latest court filing are a matter for the court to determine," she wrote. "Vanderbilt has no role."
Head football coach James Franklin could not be reached for comment, and Fortune said Athletic Director David Williams would not discuss the filing.
HC James Franklin and/or members of his staff could be in trouble