With the first day of football practice slated for Thursday, Vanderbilt was eager to set the tone for the upcoming season.

Its message posted to Twitter hit a chord -- but not the one they were hoping for.


That tweet, which has since been deleted, wasn't just insensitive to the issue of sexual assault, an important subject on college campuses across the country. It also dredged up memories of the not-too-distant past for Vandy's football program.

In January, two former Vanderbilt football players, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, were found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery. The players were unsuccessful in arguing that their 2013 actions were the result of a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex.

Athletes have faced particular scrutiny for their role in campus sexual assaults, particularly in regards to the way sports culture sometimes encourages such behaviors or attitudes, even implicitly so. Authorities across the country, meanwhile, have proven all too eager to turn a blind eye and try to shield those student-athletes from consequences.

It's no surprise that Twitter was incensed by Vanderbilt's gaffe -- and let the school know it:










About an hour after the initial tweet, Vanderbilt issued the following Twitter apology:



The Commodores open the season Sept. 3 at home against Western Kentucky.

More: Pac-12 Touts Itself As 'Conference of Champions' But Is That All Talk?

-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.

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