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Former UK Punter Named in USA Today’s Comprehensive College Football Sexual Assault Investigation

SDSU Athletics

SDSU Athletics

The University of Kentucky was named in an extensive piece by USA Today that investigated sexual assaults by college athletes, primarily focusing on those who were disciplined, transferred and still allowed to participate in college athletics.

The NCAA does not restrict eligibility for student-athletes who have been convicted of sexual assault. USA Today found that since 2014 there have been 28 student-athletes who have played for a program after being administratively disciplined for a sexual offense at another college. One of those is a former Kentucky Wildcat.

Tanner Blain arrived on Kentucky’s campus in 2012. The walk-on punter redshirted in his first season. Eligible to play as a redshirt freshman in 2013, he never played a down for the Wildcats.

In the spring of 2014, a female student told UK police she was sexually assaulted by Blain at a party. The incident did not result in criminal charges, but the university suspended him for two years after they found responsible for rape. Details released by the university to USA Today are sparse.

The university provided few details about the incident and redacted a campus police report almost entirely, saying it contains private information.

The report details the victim’s “efforts to fight (off) her attacker … her friends’ efforts to help her while the incident was ongoing,” and how the victim “escaped from her attacker and the private residence where the attack took place,” the university told the Kentucky Attorney General’s office in defense of its redactions against an appeal by the USA TODAY Network. The agency upheld the university’s redactions.

Blain did not respond to USA Today’s request for comment and his father denies any wrongdoing.

Blain transfered to El Camino College in Torrance, Ca. After one season in junior college, he signed with San Diego State. He was the Aztecs’ starting punter for two years, earned a spot on the Ray Guy Watch List and won consecutive Mountain West Conference titles.

When Blain signed with SDSU, the school had no knowledge of the prior incident in Lexington, a school spokesperson told USA Today. Background checks at the JUCO level and at UK produced zero red flags. Kentucky spokesperson Jay Blanton said it “was simply a mistake” when they returned Blain’s form to SDSU and did not disclose the sexual assault suspension.

The university’s student conduct office is required to notify its athletics department if an athlete is involved in a disciplinary proceeding, but that didn’t happen in Blain’s case, Blanton told USA Today. This procedure is now standardized in the NCAA’s transfer portal.

[USA Today]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for Former UK Punter Named in USA Today’s Comprehensive College Football Sexual Assault Investigation



  1. J-Dub421
    1:05 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

    It is completely unacceptable that a rapist was allowed to transfer with no notification of his wrongdoing.



    • Catuary
      2:47 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

      I think the problem is that he wasn’t prosecuted. If he had been convicted of a crime then it would be public information and available on any background check. I’m not enthusiastic about allegations being disclosed as part of a university disciplinary procedure lacking the due process afforded in a criminal trial. The solution is to prosecute, in addition to any internal university disciplinary proceedings.



    • Megan
      11:46 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

      Lacking due process? I don’t think you understand how colleges treat these allegations. Take the case of Dez Wells, a basketball player at Xavier. He was accused of sexual assault in 2012. The university provided him notice and an opportunity to be heard (that’s due process). He defended himself at the initial hearing before administrators, teachers and fellow students. The board found him guilty of sexual assault in violation of the Code of Student Conduct. He appealed (more due process). After a second hearing before a different review board also comprising his peers, the initial finding was upheld. The university expelled him for sexual assault. Even though it wasn’t required to do so, this private Jesuit university afforded him the same due process defendants receive with criminal charges. Side note: A sympathetic Hamilton County prosecutor spoke quite openly about the case and, after a perfunctory appearance before a grand jury, announced to no one’s surprise that the grand jury did not return an indictment under the state criminal code. Being a star basketball player at the local school has its privileges.

      Wells transferred to Maryland and — get this — the NCAA granted him a hardship waiver so he could play immediately. A hardship waiver for being expelled for sexual assault. Jesus Christ.



  2. notFromhere
    1:33 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

    This is unbelievable. How would anyone think they are not responsible for reporting this going forward?



  3. bbn606
    2:20 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder how Peyton Manning came out on that report?



    • eddiesuttonsliver
      2:32 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

      you’re a jackass if you don’t understand that now isn’t the time for jokes.



    • bbn606
      2:59 pm December 12, 2019 Permalink

      I am a jack-Ass and also as serious as a heart attack. Are you not familiar with Peyton’s situation at UT?



  4. wesmorgan1
    11:32 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

    Hmm…I have a different question.

    “In the spring of 2014, a female student told UK police she was sexually assaulted by Blain at a party. The incident did not result in criminal charges, but the university suspended him for two years after they found responsible for rape.”

    Only suspended – NOT expelled? I understand that the university can make a finding of responsibility in the absence of criminal proceedings, but they found him responsible for rape and only said “go away for two years”? One would think that such a finding would merit “go away AND NEVER COME BACK.”

    Of course, failing to report this is inexcusable. His athletic records should have had a HUGE red flag on them for student disciplinary action.



    • Megan
      11:49 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

      Bless you.