There were plenty of questions, after wide receiver Chris Boyd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for his actions following the alleged rape of a woman involving four teammates, about whether Boyd would be able to remain on the team at Vanderbilt. Those questions were answered resoundingly Tuesday by the university.
Vanderbilt’s athletic administration, in conjunction with its head football coach, today dismissed Chris Boyd from the university’s football team and athletic program. The action came after an ongoing review that included information disclosed during a hearing Sept. 13 in Davidson County Criminal Court.
The review concluded that Mr. Boyd’s admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes.
Boyd allegedly tried to help orchestrate a cover-up of the incident by deleting video evidence of the assault and ordering one player to "tell your roommate he didn’t see (expletive)," according to very graphic texts revealed during a court hearing.
The wide receiver becomes the highest-profile and most significant player kicked off the team in the scandal, which has tarnished Vanderbilt's reputation as "different" than other SEC programs. It's hard to think that Boyd could have returned to the team after the release of the stomach-turning text messages, but the possibility was out there until the school said otherwise.
With any luck for Vanderbilt and those of us who have to write about it, this will be one of the last steps the university will have to take with regard to the allegations. Already, the lives of several people have been irrevocably changed, most significantly the victim, who should remain in your thoughts and prayers.
The immediate fallout is over. But for her and several others affected by this crime, the story will never truly be over.