Brian Banks: Jail Cell to NFL
I have been following this story for over a year now, almost like the outcome would have some effect on me or my life.
I am talking about Brian Banks, the California high school football star and USC recruit who spent more than five years in prison after accepting a plea deal on rape and kidnapping charges.
Banks was 16 and already had a scholarship offer from USC when a classmate accused him of rape. Can you imagine going to prison for something you never did? At age 16? This probably happens more then any of us want to think about. But the story gets even more bizarre!
The classmate sued the school system and was awarded $1.5million! Then she changed her story and said he really never raped her! (Damn!) She changed her story and, despite this course reversal, does not have to give the money back! (Damn!) She also will not face any charges! (Damn!)
Banks has been trying to get a shot at playing in the NFL ever since he was cleared of the false charges in May 2012. He did get to participate in a Seattle Seahawks mini-camp last June, but the Seahawks didn't make a move. Now, the Atlanta Falcons have signed the former high school star; the linebacker whose college years were unjustly taken from him will work out with the team in the off-season. It seems he will get his shot, after all!
The story hits home for me. I personally know a man that was accused of the same charges when he was a teacher. After two trials, he was found not guilty, but the damage was done. He could never teach again. It ruined his life or, at the very least, changed the direction he wanted it to go.
So I root for Brian Banks every day to overcome this miscarriage of justice and live out his dream of being an NFL player !