It’s not unusual for sports page headlines in the South to tout the criminal proceedings against players in the Southeastern Conference — the University of Florida and University of Georgia combined for 32 arrests going back three years, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Vanderbilt, however, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight.
But the dismissal of four Vanderbilt University football players amid a sexual assault investigation last week brought negative attention to Commodores head coach James Franklin’s typically problem-free football team.
As of press time, there were no charges in the sexual assault case, and forensic evidence was being reviewed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The dismissed players’ names weren’t released by the school.
“Decisions in regard to charges will be made at the appropriate time as warranted by the investigation, which is expected to remain open and active into the near future,” said a statement issued by the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The City Paper reviewed Davidson County Criminal Court documents for every player on the Commodores’ 2011 and 2012 roster to see the extent of criminal offenses under Franklin’s tutelage. The records reveal several previously unreported incidents, but no alarming pattern of criminal activity.
Former Commodore offensive lineman Grant Ramsay was arrested on Dec. 14, 2012, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Ramsay was pulled over by police after he pulled out of a gas station on 12th Avenue without his headlights on. According to records, Ramsay pleaded the charge down to misdemeanor reckless driving.
The 6-foot-5 center from Marietta, Ga., didn’t see any game action in three years at Vanderbilt. He left the team earlier this year due to injury, according to the school.
In addition to Ramsey, redshirt sophomore safety Jahmel McIntosh was cited for disorderly conduct after getting into a fight at Steeplechase. According to a copy of the state citation, McIntosh, 20, admitted to drinking prior to the fight. McIntosh played sparingly in 2012, registering eight tackles. He is still on the team, according to Vanderbilt football spokesman Larry Leathers.
Three additional players on the 2011 and 2012 rosters received state citations for driving on a suspended license, speeding and underage possession of alcohol.
The most notable arrest during the Franklin regime was former Commodore Andre Simmons’ alleged involvement in an armed robbery and burglary of a Vanderbilt dorm in 2011. Simmons’ charges were deferred in March 2012, and could be dropped after three years of good behavior. He is now playing football at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Former Commodore Mylon Brown got into trouble after he was dismissed from the team for “violation of team rules” after the 2011 season. Brown was arrested for driving under the influence in March.
He was convicted of reckless driving. About a month later, Brown allegedly smashed a glass door at the Red Rooster on Demonbreun Street and was charged with felony vandalism and public intoxication. That case is set for trial later this month.