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Mike Shanahan: Brian Banks deserves an opportunity

Brian Banks

Brian Banks weeps after his rape conviction was dismissed in court Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Long Beach, Calif. It has been 10 years since Banks, then 16, pleaded no contest to a rape charge brought after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus, shattering his dreams of a pro career. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


Earlier this week, we shared the news that Brian Banks, recently exonerated of kidnapping and rape charges when the alleged victim admitted to making it all up, was getting tryouts with the Redskins and other teams.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that Banks would be trying out for the team and also explained why the team was taking a look at a player who last played organized football as a 16-year-old high school student. Shanahan said that Banks earned the chance to “see what type of shape he’s in and see if there’s a chance” because of the way he handled himself throughout the ordeal.

“I think when somebody goes through the situation that he went through, you know, he deserves an opportunity to try out for somebody,” Shanahan said after practice on Thursday. “Concerning what he went through — just reading about it, I don’t know him personally — I called him up and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to have you out.’”

Banks also has tryouts lined up with the Seahawks and Chiefs in the coming weeks. Since he won’t wind up with the Dolphins as a star of Hard Knocks, some other enterprising documentary filmmaker should try to follow Banks’ progress in a story that would seem fictional if it wasn’t unfolding in front of us.