Brian Banks


The Official Website of Brian Banks

The speaker


One of the country’s most prominent exonerees, this former high schoolfootball star inspires with his unforgettable, life affirming story of resiliency, redemption and triumph over adversity and injustice.



Discover the unforgettable and inspiring true story of Brian Banks—a young man who was wrongfully convicted, only to emerge with his spirit unbroken and determined to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL.

Brian Banks, THE MOVIE


Brian Banks tells the true story of the wrongful imprisonment and exoneration of Brian Banks. An all-American high-school football player committed to USC by his Junior year, Brian’s life was upended when a classmate falsely accused him of a crime he didn’t commit.


Brian Banks was a high school football star with a full ride scholarship to USC and his sights set on the NFL. Those dreams were shattered when he was falsely accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit. Ultimately, with the help of the California Innocence Project, Brian was exonerated after serving more than five years in prison and an additional five years on parole for crimes uncommitted.


Brian has gone on to become a Life Coach and nationally-recognized public speaker, having spoken across the country and internationally. He sits on the advisory boards of the California Innocence Project and the National Registry of Exoneration.

Learn more

The Official Brian Banks Website

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,

And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes

The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,

Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: –

He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:

Environment is but his looking-glass.

They are words from “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen, suggesting that when we seek perspective about life, we should follow the path that the mind harvests and the heart manifests.

Brian Banks read them often in prison, intent on understanding the injustice that destroyed his innocence and yet not allowing it to define his complete being. Allen wrote that if we remain true to our most cherished visions and ideals, our world at last will be built as we desire.

When the doors slammed shut and the lights went out each night and his mind wandered and it was impossible to sleep, when he had no clue which day of the week had passed and from which month, Banks fought himself to remain strong, to remain true to those visions and ideals. 

“They were long nights,” he said. “You’re always in a reflective state – where you are, where you know you should be, where you know you shouldn’t be. A lot of meditation. A lot of prayer.

Honing in on accepting the path God has put before you, even if it’s something you don’t understand, even if it’s a place and situation you don’t want to deal with. You don’t look at calendars. You don’t know the day. You just allow yourself to lose all sense of time. You have to.

“When I first went to prison, facing so much time, I had to let football and the (NFL) dream go. I couldn’t survive that environment and come out of it healthy mentally and spiritually by obsessing the entire time over something I couldn’t control. I had to think about now, today, this moment, how I would get out of there safe and sane.”

He is sitting in the office of Las Vegas Locomotives coach Jim Fassel, whose United Football League team has provided Banks, 26, the opportunity to continue chasing that dream he once set aside, one he seemed destined to realize 10 years ago as a standout linebacker at Long Beach Poly High School in California.

He had verbally committed to play for Southern California and then-coach Pete Carroll. At 16, the world was at his feet.

That was before the stairwell, before he made out with a girl named (blank) at school, before she accused him of rape, before his attorney over months and months of incarceration finally wore him down enough that Banks agreed to a plea bargain of six years in prison instead of facing up to four decades if convicted at trial.

This, despite there being no DNA evidence linking Banks to (blank), no semen discovered in the rape kit, no witnesses of any kind.

His word against hers.

He served 64 months.

She received a $750,000 settlement from the school. Read more

The Official Website of Brian Banks