Exonerated Player Scores Chance at Professional Football • Long Beach Post

Accused of rape and then exonerated after serving five years in prison, Brian Banks finally faces the possibility of achieving his professional football dreams.


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In 2002, Brian Banks—then 17—was aiming for one thing as the star middle linebacker of Poly High: professional football. His tryouts included possible spots for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Seattle Seahawks.

Those dreams came crashing down as one false accusation of rape by Wanetta Gibson landed him in prison for five years that very year. After being released, Gibson contacted Banks via Facebook in an attempt to make amends—particularly for ruining his NFL dreams.

Having been officially exonerated of the crime this past May, it seems like all of Banks’s hopes have not necessarily diminished entirely.

The Las Vegas Locomotives—part of the professional United Football League (UFL) and coached by former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel—have reportedly offered Banks a spot, where he is expected to sign a contract tomorrow.

Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project that helped exonerate Banks, said in a released statement that he is “ecstatic that is looks like [Banks] will finally get to make his dream of playing football a  reality.”

The UFL league’s inaugural season was in 2009, which four teams including the Locomotives, which went on that year to win the championship. They currently play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

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