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. Al S.

    God bless and GOOD luck Brian. I hope it all works out for you.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jello-Joe

    Seriously??? Why would she lie and ruin this poor mans life. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE Good Luck Mr.Banks. I can not wait to see you on the field. Now you are a free man.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • tmull

      That girl should go to jail for 6 years for messing up his whole life, Dumb chick

      June 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      I agree with you, she has ruined this man. I wish him all the luck, she needs to go to jail for the same exacat amount of time that he served!

      June 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rhonda

    So here is my question.. Is she going to be held accountable for her actions..Shouldn't she do some time. what about the settlement $$ they got??

    June 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jasmine

    This lady(if thats what we are calling her) needs to be put away for taking 10yrs away from this athlete. At the very least she committed perjury no? If I were the victim I would be suing her for lost wages x10yrs. Whats the matter with this chick has she no conscience? Or did it now after 10 yrs just get the best of her.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kiss

    Why is she not being held accountable for her lies? she should not get off scott free for all the pain she caused!!!!

    June 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jasmine

    I doubt this woman will get off scott free. Perjury for one ......falsely testifying in a court of law. Next the school district will be looking to get their 1.5mil back from her. What a gal huh?

    June 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeke

      She didn't lie in a court of law. It never went to court, he pled guilty(took a plea) based on his Lawyers advice. She did lie to the Police though.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    Another sad story in the book of our justice system.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Good luck Banks! Society has become stupid to the point it cost you 5 years of your life, your Mom's home and all that $ for attorneys. I hope somehow you get it all back 10 fold.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Girau

    They should put the woman who lied under OATH to jail. This make me sick. Banks should filed a lawsuit for the pain and suffering he experience in jail.

    June 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    Wow. The woman needs to be locked up. Hope he is planning a lawsuit to take her to the cleaners for the rest of her life.

    June 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cominhome

    Good Luck Brian.

    June 2, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. GenericMan

    if the possible sentencing wasn't outrageous, he would have fought the charges without taking a gamble. See how garbage our system is.

    June 2, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Millie

    This girl needs to go to court for lying under oath.

    June 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hammer

    I hope the girl will go to jail.To take this man life away from him for so long she should pay.But because she is a woman us men know she will do no time.Equal pay equal jail time!

    June 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smiley

    How could somebody do that to another person and not feel sorry about it? She should be locked behind bars for 10 years for what she did. There should be a rule that protects guys as well in this case.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
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