We want to be very, very careful with this, because right now it's nothing more than an educated guess that these two things are related. But there's a confluence of circumstances right now that could be very bad for Vanderbilt football and even worse for the victim of what is apparently an alleged crime at Vanderbilt. (Yeah, qualifier overload, but necessary.)
First, Vanderbilt dropped this little bombshell on the Interwebs. It automatically screamed "not a garden-variety violation of team rules" when it included this sentence:
Because of Vanderbilt’s ongoing investigation, the university will offer further comment when appropriate.
"Ongoing investigation" doesn't suggest a harmless violation of curfew (not that such a thing is possible in the summer) or something that just requires running up and down some stairs. It suggests something a bit more serious. And then news of something a lot more serious broke:
"I can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit began an investigation on Wednesday in regard to a matter that was alleged to have occurred at a Vanderbilt University dormitory," said Don Aaron, spokesman for Metro police. "Our sex crimes detectives became involved as the result of a notification to us on Wednesday from Vanderbilt University police. The investigation remains very much in progress."
Aaron did tell The Tennesseean that the two incidents are "related," whatever that means.
We don't know who these players are, which could determine how bad this could be for Vanderbilt, but we do know that the victim of this crime has already gone through something that is more horrible than anyone who has not gone through it can imagine. (Assuming, of course, that this all is true.) Whatever you're thinking or praying about this case, make sure some of those thoughts and prayers go toward the victim.