Starting wide receiver Chris Boyd has been suspended from the Vanderbilt football team after being indicted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police for his role after the alleged rape that ended with the arrests of four former players.
Boyd was indicted on Friday afternoon and charged with one felony count of evidence tampering as an accessory after the fact. Detectives believe that his advice to the four young men involved - former Commodores Brandon Banks, Tip McKenzie, Brandon Vandenburg, and Cory Batey - constituted a cover-up designed to impede the MNPD's investigation into June's alleged sexual assault. Those players were arrested last week and charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual battery apiece.
The veteran receiver was charged along with two other young men who are not affiliated with Vanderbilt. Miles Finley and Joseph Quinzio were also charged with one count of felony evidence tampering.
Boyd's indictment is a big revelation in a case that has tarnished Vanderbilt's reputation as both a university and a football program and hugely affected the life of its victim. While the other four players involved were bit players and potential starters, the junior is easily the most high profile Commodore to draw charges based on the events stemming from that June evening. Along with Jordan Matthews, he comprised one of the best receiving tandems in the NCAA and had the potential to be a touted NFL Draft pick in either 2014 or 2015.
Critics may suggest that the university is being lenient with Boyd by merely suspending him at this point. However, the school also decided to initially suspend Banks, McKenzie, Vandenburg, and Batey when news broke surrounding their potential crime. Those students were dismissed from the school and football program not long after. The university will have another difficult investigation to make before determining how to proceed with Boyd's future at the school.
Boyd's alleged cover-up is reprehensible if true. Now, Vanderbilt officials will have to work quickly to determine his role in any crime and how significant his actions were.