Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/30/12
PHOENIX Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall is willing to wait for Brian Banks. Hall, in fact, hopes he has to. He would prefer not to hire Banks just yet. That is for an NFL team to do. But if circumstances present themselves in the future, count the D-backs among those who would welcome him with open arms. Banks, a former star high school football player with NFL potential, last week was exonerated after losing 10 years of his life for a crime he did not commit. Hall was so taken by Banks composure and professionalism during a television interview afterward that he obtained Banks email address and fired off a job offer. If the time comes, they'll find a fit. I just thought, This guy needs a fresh start,' Hall said. I saw a very bright, articulate handsome kid. Great smile. You see a lot of maturity. You see a kid who has been through adversity and can handle it. Hes lost 10 years of his life, and its time for some good things to happen to him. Hall was aware of Banks story from his time in the Los Angeles Dodgers front office. Star football player at perennial powerhouse Long Beach Poly with a scholarship offer to USC at age 16. Incarcerated when a young woman named Wanetta Gibson accused him of rape and kidnapping. Pleaded guilty to lesser charges, while maintaining his innocence, on the advice of an attorney who feared the worst. Served 62 months in prison and wore a court-ordered tracking device after getting out of jail. Gibson recanted last year, and Banks was finally cleared in a Long Beach courtroom on May 24. In less than a week since, four NFL teams have called Banks, 6-foot-2 and 245-pounds, asking him in for a workout. He was a big star. When that came down, it was shocking and devastating," Hall remembers. "I dont think anybody thought that he didnt do it until all this came down. I can remember back then saying, Oh, what a shame if he threw his life away like that. Its obviously a pleasant surprise to learn not only did he not, but that we all jumped to conclusions and that he actually did nothing wrong. Halls email included an invitation to check out the D-backs organization when he is through with football. Banks told ESPNs Rick Reilly that he about fell out of my seat when he read Halls email, and Hall was tickled when he heard that. Someone like that he deserves a break. He got one, and he deserves a career, Hall said. It is crazy. It is a story made for a movie, and Im sure it will be. Im so happy for him that he at least had the truth revealed and that he can start over. If we can be a part of that and it makes sense for him and for us, Id be glad to offer that to him. He has to chase his (NFL) dream first. If he comes back to me and says that didnt work out, are you still willing to have me come out? Absolutely we are.
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