Exonerated in rape case, man lines up NFL tryouts
Brian Banks breaks down in a California courtroom after his rape conviction is expunged.
May 31st, 2012
11:57 AM ET

Exonerated in rape case, man lines up NFL tryouts

A Southern California man exonerated last week on a decade-old rape conviction was looking ahead Thursday to try to relaunch a dream taken from him because of prison time he served in the case, the chance to play in the National Football League.

Brian Banks was a football standout at Long Beach Polytechnic High School and had been offered a scholarship to play at the University of Southern California when he was accused of rape.

Fearing a potentially long sentence, he followed the advice of his attorney and pleaded no contest to assaulting a classmate.

But he maintained his innocence throughout nearly six years of imprisonment, subsequent probation and registration as a sex offender.

And, according to the California Innocence Project, the woman later admitted that Banks had not kidnapped or raped her during a consensual encounter.

A judge in California tossed out his conviction last week.

It didn't take long for NFL teams to start contacting Banks with tryout invitations, according to news reports, with six in line to work him out.

First among them was the Seattle Seahawks, coached by Pete Carroll, the same man who offered that scholarship to Banks a decade ago, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

"I feel very confident in getting that tryout and producing on the field," Banks said. "I've been working extremely hard for this opportunity."

Banks was a linebacker in high school, and his team won a state championship when he was a junior, according to the Seattle Times report.

A Super Bowl championship is obviously a long way away, but the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Banks told ESPN's Rick Reilly he has been working out since October and is confident he's ready to take the first step in the NFL.

"I'll make 'em happy," ESPN quotes him as saying. "After all I've been through these last 10 years, I can still do some things that will impress you."

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Filed under: California • Football • Justice • Pro football
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Cookin

    good luck mr banks the female should do time and be sued for your pain & suffering in jail not to mention defimanation of character / character assaniation

    June 4, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Neece

    This woman should be prosecuted for what she did. At the very least, he should go after her in a civil court and sue her for everything she has or will ever have. What she did is just unconscionable. I wish Mr. Banks well and hope the Lord gives him the strength to continue to put one foot in front of the other!!!

    June 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      That is detestable what she did. What the devil intended for bad in his life God will turn to good.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Frank Lostaunau

    May Mr. Banks have a very long happy life as a free man.

    June 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. My2Cents

    Good luck Mr. Banks, I hope you do well, you've overcome a major obstacle, now show them what you've got!

    June 5, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. MymanDarwin

    And the woman will continue to live her life after ruining 10 years of his. Yeah, even with an NFL contract I would take her to civil court. Just to drive the point home.

    June 5, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. april

    why is the article referring to him as an ex-con when is clearly innocent...its sad

    June 5, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tonya

    This a happy beginning to the end of a sad story. I can't believe that someone would play with another persons life like that. I wish Mr. Banks continued success and I hope that the young lady has nothing but bad luck from now on. The money is already gone & she's on public assistance so yes, KARMA is a B****!!!

    June 5, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sarah

    that guy has all my prayers and support i hope he's true to his word and make sweet lemnade out of the lemons he's been handed godspeed Brain

    August 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
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