Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd, one of the Commodores' top NFL draft prospects, reached a deal with prosecutors Friday morning that will spare the junior a felony conviction in a rape investigation. According to tennessean.com, Boyd instead pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving "criminal intent" that will be expunged from his record if he completes a year-long probation successfully.
Boyd was charged as an accessory after the fact in a rape case that resulted in the expulsion of four other Vanderbilt football players over the summer. Alleged to have raped an unconscious woman in a campus dormitory, the four have had their next court date postponed until October. Boyd was alleged to have helped in a cover-up attempt by erasing video of the crime.
One of the four charged with the rape, Jaborian McKenzie, has transferred to Alcorn State and returned kickoffs against Mississippi State Saturday. Cory Batey, Brandon Banks and Brandon Vandenburg are the other former Vandy players charged with aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
It is unclear whether the reduced charge against Boyd will pave the way for Vanderbilt coach James Franklin to reinstate the junior to play for the Commodores. Franklin announced an indefinite suspension of Boyd when he was first indicted. Boyd (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) caught 50 passes for 774 yards for the Commodores as a sophomore last season.