Of all the quotes uttered by Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason, here is the one the athletic department chose to rile up the Commodores fan base Thursday on Twitter (the tweet has since been deleted, but we screengrabbed it):
The quote comes from a Mason tweet on July 21.
On the surface, this seems harmlessly rah-rah. The Commodores, a college football afterthought for most of their existence, simply will not be pushed around anymore.
And then you remember that four former members of the Vanderbilt football team were charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery over a June 2013 incident involving an unconscious 21-year-old woman in a dorm room.
Two of the former players, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, were found guilty in January after jurors saw gruesome photos and video the players themselves took of the attack. Those convictions were overturned, however, when the judge declared a mistrial after it was revealed that the jury foreman failed to disclose he had been the victim of statutory rape as a teenager (the juror did not consider it sexual assault, however, maintaining the sex was consensual).
Batey and Vandenburg will be retried in November, and prosecutors are expected to use the same evidence against them. The other two players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, have yet to face trial.
Considering all that, it’s no wonder the tweet was deleted about three hours after it went up, and that Vanderbilt football later apologized: