Vanderbilt University has sent a letter to athletes telling them to refrain from visiting a Nashville bar, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
Athletic director David Williams said in the letter addressed to student athletes "effective immediately, the athletics department has declared the Nashville Bar Tin Roof off limits."
Williams also said in the letter that "the university has been informed of concerning behaviors" at the business, including Vanderbilt students, athletes drinking underage and using fake IDs.
Four football players were dismissed from the team earlier this month for a violation of team rules, and Metro police confirm there is an active investigation into allegations of a sex crime, but none of them have been charged with any crime.
When the I-Team asked the university if the letter has anything to do with the investigation into an alleged campus sexual assault involving the four former football players, a university representative would not go on camera with us and would only say in an email the letter "clearly states the reason it was sent. Beyond that, we have nothing more to say."
We had the same question for Bob Franklin, the co-owner of Tin Roof.
"We have no knowledge of anything with that investigation. I would just put the faith in the Metro Police Department and the Vanderbilt officials to sort of handle that, but we're not involved or familiar with any details on that," he said.
The Tin Roof owner also said he had read the letter sent out by the athletic director and said he's not aware of any ongoing underage drinking issues at his bar, adding they are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen there.
"We're fully in support of the stance of Vanderbilt in trying to curb the use of fake IDs and underage drinking and would welcome any partnership to help do it," Bob Franklin said.
Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin faced questions about the situation for the first time Thursday at SEC Media Day in Hoover, AL.
The football coach was asked several times about the players' dismissal, but he would not comment on the ongoing investigation.
"I can't get into any of the specifics about that situation. It's an ongoing investigation. I can't get into it," Franklin said. "I made a statement two days ago, and I am comfortable with it."
Metro police and the district attorney's office have yet to name who is involved, but the university revealed on Monday the identities of the four now-former Vanderbilt football players at whom investigators are looking.
The university said Cory Batey, Brandon Banks, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Vandenberg are no longer on the team and have also been banned from campus.
Franklin issued a statement the same day saying the staff is cooperating fully with police.
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