Vanderbilt football tweets they 'don't need permission' as four players face rape charges
Former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Vandenburg in court in June 2014. [WKRN-TV]

"We don't need your permission."

Those words were in a Tweet posted by Vanderbilt University football's official Twitter account Thursday that was quickly deleted. It came as four former football players face trial on rape charges, according to the Tennessean.

Even though the tweet was deleted, Bleacher Report posted a screenshot, as seen here:

The quote came from Derek Mason, the university's current Commodores coach, who was not yet employed with Vanderbilt when the alleged rape took place.

Four players, Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon E. Banks and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie all face trial in an alleged rape of an unconscious female student, which they took pictures of and recorded.

Vandenburg and Batey were found guilty after a January trial but the judge threw out the verdict because of concerns over the impartiality of one of the jurors. A new trial is set for November. Banks and McKenzie haven't yet gone to trial.

The men are accused of taking an unconscious woman to Vandenburg's dorm room, undressing her, then sexually and physically assaulting her, the Tennessean reports. They took video and photographs of her body and of themselves abusing her. The video was shown to jurors during Vandenburg's trial.

The football team later tweeted an apology for its choice in words, saying, "We apologize for today’s tweet. It’s not a comment about sexual assault. Sex without permission is always wrong and not accepted. Sexual assault is not acceptable at Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Athletics and Vanderbilt Football."