As Coach, Tommy Tuberville Gave One-Game Suspension To Player Charged With Rape
Tommy Tuberville, the former head coach of the Auburn University football team endorsed by President Trump for his Republican Senate candidacy, reportedly once handed a one-game suspension to a player charged with raping a minor, according to an op-ed by Siraj Hashmi in the Washington Examiner.
- In 1999, during Tuberville’s first year as head coach, wide receiver Clifton Robinson returned to the team after pleading guilty to the delinquency of a minor in order avoid going to trial for the second-degree rape of a 15-year old girl.
- The charge came from Robinson’s sexual encounter with a 15 year-old girl. In Alabama law, a second-degree rape charge is when the accused "engages in sexual intercourse with a female less than 16 and more than 12 years old, provided; however that the (man) is at least two years older than the female." Robinson was 20 years old at the time.
- Tuberville pledged to determine an appropriate punishment, but ultimately only handed the player a one-game suspension.
- Hashmi noted that Tuberville’s predecessor had previously suspended “Robinson and three other players from the 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for breaking curfew” — the same punishment that Tuberville dished out for an outright crime.
- The lack of disciplinary action Tuberville gave Robinson is concerning given the severity of his crime, Hashmi argued, adding that in the context of the current #MeToo movement, such an action can be perceived as complicity.