FanDuel - WFBC

April 06, 2006

Duke University cancels lacrosse season amid rape allegations: Longtime coach Mike Pressler has resigned and Duke will not play lacrosse this year after three players were accused of raping a stripper at a party in March. On top of that, one of the players sent out an email two hours after the alleged incident saying there would be more violence, including "killing the bitches as soon as the(y) walk in and proceding to cut their skin off."

posted by wfrazerjr to other at 10:47 AM - 78 comments

I'm surprised this wasn't posted sooner. I thought about making a thread, but I don't have enough confidence in my diplomatic skills to pull it off. And since you made the thread, I'll say it: this is tragic, horrible, and downright disgusting. Everything I've read in the past few days suggests the lacrosse team was out of control for years, and it sickens me to think that it has taken something on this level to get some action out of Duke's administration. Simply revolting.

posted by rocketman at 10:55 AM on April 06

I'll admit, I did not want to be the one to post this either. I hope due process is followed, and whoever was involved in whatever happened gets made an example of. I can't help but think that Duke isn't the only place stuff like this is happening.

posted by chicobangs at 10:56 AM on April 06

The coverage of this story has been weird. Instead of focusing on a rape accusation against three people, it continues to treat the whole team of 46 as if they contributed to the crime. Part of this may be the athletes' fault -- most of them are represented by four attorneys -- but I can't recall an instance where an entire team lost a season because of an accusation against individual members. This case hasn't resulted in a single charge being filed yet. If the other 43 players had nothing to do with this, why are they being punished by the school?

posted by rcade at 11:03 AM on April 06

I believe they are all being punished because they are not cooperating with the police. They have decided to stand together and stand silently.

posted by bperk at 11:12 AM on April 06

I really feel awful for the coach. I know that the idea is that he controls their lifestyles, but man... kids who are going to do something like this are rotten to the core; a coach can only do and say so much. I can't tell if he was encouraged to resignation because of the event, or because of his lack of ablitity to get the kids to come clean. Either way it seems like a truly awful situation.

posted by everett at 11:15 AM on April 06

Living here in North Carolina, the news coverage has been completely different. The news has been putting as much as possible on about how it ISN'T the lacrosse players who were at fault - IF they were at fault at all. They have be dregding up as much dirt on the female as possible, protecting the lacrosse team. No charges yet, because I don't think anyone wants to press the charges, they want it to go away. Plus I am sure everyone involved are afraid of the political/financial pressure that can be applied to them by the rich daddies of the accused. I have found out more information from the national news than the local news will bring forth. This has been in the local news for about 3 weeks now, I just found out last night (on Fox news) that the victim had bruises, choke marks AND broken fingernails. Response to rcade - I think they all are being punished because all were at the party. All were drinking (underaged) and rumor of drug use. All had to have had some knowledge of what was going on.

posted by Stealth_72 at 11:16 AM on April 06

Apparently, the coach was planning on resigning at the end of this season before all this went down, so now the the season's over for Duke, his stepping off was no big thing. Stealth_72, that's really interesting. I understand Duke (and the rich daddies of Duke athletes specifically) is big business in that area, but the fact that the news you're getting is so radically sheltered compared to the rest of the country is pretty revolting in and of itself.

posted by chicobangs at 11:21 AM on April 06

I don't feel bad for the coach at all. He is not responsible for individual behavior, but he is responsible for allowing the team to develop a culture that would allow this kind of behavior to occur. A third of the team had been arrested for something prior to this incident. If the coach had crackdowned on the smaller incidents, an incident of this magnitude may never have happened.

posted by bperk at 11:22 AM on April 06

All had to have had some knowledge of what was going on. That's a big leap, Stealth. I last attended a college party in the Mesozoic Era, but the idea that all 46 members of the team would have knowledge of a rape allegedly committed by three of them seems far-fetched.

posted by rcade at 11:25 AM on April 06

But, what else could the university do when none of the players are cooperating with the investigation?

posted by bperk at 11:26 AM on April 06

Is it the university's business if the players don't choose to cooperate with the investigation? I'm not backing these guys at all, but if the players feel cooperating wuold be a bad idea (or if they are being told by their lawyers not to say anything to police), why would Duke have anything to say about that, aside from wanting to make this go away as quickly as possible?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:32 AM on April 06

The lawyers for the defendants are acting awfully confident about the DNA tests to be conducted. If they get a match it will be game over for at least one individual, and I predict you'll see the team solidarity start to unravel at that point. If they don't get a match then I feel doubly sorry for the victim.

posted by Amateur at 11:32 AM on April 06

Bperk, I couldn't disagree with you more here. I think that while you are right about maybe stricter policies being enforced in NCAA sports would in general be a great thing, I also know that there are very few colleges in the country that enforce rules that way. A coach of a nationally competitive team who suspends its players every time they go to a party, is going to be fired much sooner than this guy was. Also, these kids have no history of sexual offender charges. Simply put there is about a third of them who have have minor party infractions. At the University of Oregon where I work as a counselor to many students. I would say that about 60-70 percent of all the kids I interact with on a regular basis have been through similar things. It is not the coach's resposibility to groom these kids into responsible adults, it is the responsiblilty of the kid's parents. He can only work with what he gets, and as I said before, I think that kids who would do something like this have something very wrong with them, very deep inside.

posted by everett at 11:34 AM on April 06

Other coaches routinely discipline their players for alcohol infractions and the like to set an example for the team as to what behavior is acceptable. I am not at all saying that the coach is responsible for the player's behavior. What I am saying is that a coach who has had multiple problems with a good portion of the team and has failed to discipline them for that behavior has to take some blame for things getting out of control. If you isolate any one of the incidents, it certainly is minor. But, when there is a pattern, with one-third of the team being involved, then more must be done. The coach is the first line of defense and if he can't or won't take action, then the university must. One-third of any group of students being arrested for a "party infraction" is a ridiculously high number. A football team that had that number of incidents would be deemed out of control. Is it the university's business if the players don't choose to cooperate with the investigation? I'm not backing these guys at all, but if the players feel cooperating wuold be a bad idea (or if they are being told by their lawyers not to say anything to police), why would Duke have anything to say about that, aside from wanting to make this go away as quickly as possible? The university has to act because its students have pushed for some action. While it may be in the best interest of the particular players involved to stay silent, the only interest the others players could possibly have is to either see that the wrongdoers go unpunished or to show solidarity with their other teammates. Both of these positions prevent the university from clearing anyone at all from wrongdoing. No one has come forward to say that they were elsewhere or that they couldn't have done it because they were passed out or anything. The university is left with only two options -- punish the entire team or punish no one.

posted by bperk at 12:08 PM on April 06

deadspin.com has done a great job on this story.

posted by yerfatma at 12:26 PM on April 06

The university has to act because its students have pushed for some action. I disagree. The university doesn't have to do anything. Duke is choosing to punish everyone to take the pressure off the institution, and I would think that in the instance that these players are exonerated of this, the members of the lacrosse team would have a pretty good reason to file suit against the university for defamation of character. It's presuming guilt, and if you're going to decry it in the case of steroids users or people boarding boats full of hookers, you have to apply the standard equally to everyone. On preview: Thanks for the link, Y. It is exhaustive, and this story is probably the best of them. One disturbing quote: After a few minutes, everything seemed to calm down, he said. One of the women headed back into the house, saying she forgot her shoes. Someone has just been brutally raped, people are yelling racist slurs ... and you go back in for your shoes?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:40 PM on April 06

Stealth: where in NC do you live? Here in Raleigh, I can't spit without hitting a news item about this whole thing. I will say this, though, I don't watch local news on the tee vee. Local tee vee news is completely worthless no matter where you live. The Raleigh News & Observer seems to be all over it. The Durham Herald-Sun seems to be all over it as well.

posted by NoMich at 01:03 PM on April 06

Man, very disturbing story. But I would just like to note that maybe some of the players might be staying quiet for fear of retribution from the rest of the team. I've seen it before in high school where a kid gets jumped by 3 or more students but yet when the principle or police come to investigate nobody says a thing to incriminate the thugs who did the beating. I would wager there at least a couple of students who are struggling with this type of inner conflict. Do I stay quiet to save my own skin or do the right thing and come forward and risk a beating or worse?

posted by njsk8r20 at 01:07 PM on April 06

I believe that Duke University has an honor code. If the team's behavior violated that code, the University is entitled to act. And since the team has decided not to cooperate with the investigation, the team itself is making it difficult to determine their guilt or innocence. That means to me that the team is willing to accept whatever concequences that silence entails.

posted by yzelda4045 at 01:08 PM on April 06

I wouldn't be surprised if this leads to some clashes between Duke students and some of the locals around the Durham area. There has been a simmering resentment for years between the "Dukies," many of whom are well-heeled and protected from life's unpleasantness by their economic stature, and the Durham locals, nearly 15% of whom live below the poverty line. In fact, nearly a quarter of the workers in Durham County make less than $25,000.00 a year, and the median household income in 2000 (last year I could find) was less than $45,000.00. It's a common problem in many college towns, made worse here because many folks associated with Duke University are of the opinion that their solid waste results in no olfactory unpleasantness, and are lily white in a largely black community. This incident and its fallout could be a trigger for even worse upheaval.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:17 PM on April 06

I disagree. The university doesn't have to do anything. Duke is choosing to punish everyone to take the pressure off the institution, and I would think that in the instance that these players are exonerated of this, the members of the lacrosse team would have a pretty good reason to file suit against the university for defamation of character. You are right. They don't have to act, but then they will look like hypocrites for all their talk of running classy programs. It's presuming guilt, and if you're going to decry it in the case of steroids users or people boarding boats full of hookers, you have to apply the standard equally to everyone. Who's guilt is being presumed? There aren't even any names out there. At most, the university is saying that the lacrosse team as a group has behaved badly. Only the student who wrote the email has being suspended from school.

posted by bperk at 01:21 PM on April 06

bperk: One-third of any group of students being arrested for a "party infraction" is a ridiculously high number. Not to nit-pick, but the article you linked to above stated that about 1/3 of the players have been charged with some sort of infraction, not necessarily arrested for such infractions. That leaves open the possibility that the players were only issued a citation and there is also the possibility (as would be the case even for an arrest) that charges were dropped in some instances. The fact that the article asserts that most of the charges resulted in plea bargains suggests that there was something to them, but the language is a bit more ambiguous than you are making it out to be. wfrazerjr: I disagree. The university doesn't have to do anything. Duke is choosing to punish everyone to take the pressure off the institution, and I would think that in the instance that these players are exonerated of this, the members of the lacrosse team would have a pretty good reason to file suit against the university for defamation of character. It's presuming guilt, and if you're going to decry it in the case of steroids users or people boarding boats full of hookers, you have to apply the standard equally to everyone. I don't know that the university has an obligation to not presume guilt. I hear your point regarding the inconsistency in certain commenters here taking differing approaches on when guilt should be presumed and whether there is inconsistency or hypocrisy in such situations. However, the university is not a court of law and it's not a governmental entity and doesn't necessarily have an obligation to presume innocence or not act arbitrarily. Assuming that certain activities (e.g., even being at a party with underage drinking, irrespective of involvement in that drinking) are forbidden under school policies and those policies are being applied here, its the university's prerogative to do so. We can question the fairness of whether the university is singling out these students for a draconian application of school policy (assuming, again, that there is some policy or code of conduct violated here) when other violations of the same policy that do not have the corresponding media attention are not punished, but that is a different issue than presuming guilt. I, for one, don't have a problem with a school holding its athletes to higher standards than it does it other students. I also don't have a problem with application of a bright line rule (like if you are at a party where there is underage drinking or where there are strippers you are subject to suspension, regardless of your involvement) that creates incentives for students to err on the side of caution and not come anywhere close to the line, and even if that rule leads to a presumption of guilt in certain circumstances. It's not clear (at least to me) whether any such policies, codes of conduct or rules are applicable here, though, so it's hard to get a good handle on whether Duke is acting within its rights or is even acting fairly, but it seems a number of commenters on this thread are making bold pronouncements that may not be warranted in light of what we know and don't know.

posted by holden at 01:26 PM on April 06

njsk8r20, you are probably correct with that statement.

posted by yzelda4045 at 01:31 PM on April 06

Holden, I agree with most of your sentiment. My question would be -- is Duke conducting its own investigation in this case? I ask because there haven't even been any charges filed yet and the entire team has been disciplined. bperk, lowering the death penalty on the entire squad for the alleged actions of three players (notwithstanding the earlier suspensions for other violations and infractions) is a presumption of guilt, and saying, as you did, that "the lacrosse team as a group has behaved badly" is almost assuredly incorrect, unless you believe every single member of the team was involved in this. As for the names, no, the names of the three alleged offenders haven't been released, but what difference does that make? The entire team has been punished, which labels them all as possible rapists. How is that fair?

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:36 PM on April 06

Oh, and if you're going to bang an entire group for the actions of a few, I hope you plan to tar-and-feather Daunte Culpepper, no matter those charges being dropped.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:37 PM on April 06

fraze, the bad behavior that I believe the lacrosse team is most assuredly guilty of is not cooperating with the criminal investigation. Whether or not any of the charges are true or not, they certainly get the benefit of the doubt. The lacrosse team is preventing these charges from being cleared up by stonewalling. The university may never have taken the drastic action it has taken if the few people involved spoke up and explained what did and did not happen. At least then, whatever punishment, if any, would have been directed to the responsible parties.

posted by bperk at 02:22 PM on April 06

No one on the Vikings party boat raped anyone.

posted by criedel at 02:44 PM on April 06

If the Coach is resigning, the season has been cancelled, and all the players are standing together and not cooperating with investigators, then that says to me that there were probably major problems with the Lacrosse program before this event occurred. If the program was squeaky clean and the Duke administration respected the coach and the way he ran this program, then this would have transpired differently. The public and media probably believe this crime occurred and want to believe it occurred because there has been a strong link between athletes and violence in our country. The stats on the web site for National Coalition Against Violent Athletes paint that picture. Violent acts by athletes occur at a much greater rate than the general population. (see http://www.ncava.org/stats.html )

posted by bailzzz at 03:03 PM on April 06

The public and media probably believe this crime occurred and want to believe it occurred because Hold it right there. I don't know if I'm the public or the media, and unlike a few people in this thread, I'll only speak for myself, but I can assure you I don't "want to believe" anything. What I want is to make sure whatever actually happened is resolved, and if something went down, that the people involved get brought to account for it. The statistics on that site are interesting, but for me, this is not about statistics, at least not right now. This is about a human being who was raped, and a group of people who look to have covered that crime up, and the preexisting economic, class and (yes) racial tensions between a college and the surrounding community that are only going to get worse unless this situation is handled exactly right.

posted by chicobangs at 03:12 PM on April 06

This is typical ''team'' mentality. If anyone knows something and is keeping silent for the ''team'' they are as guilty as the people who commit the crime. As for the coaches, in many cases they are responsible for making the players feel that they (players) are above the law and will be protected, especially is they have above average ability. As for the university, education on that level is big business and they have their reputation to protect, at any cost. A good reputation means students attending at a high tuition fee which equals M-O-N-E-Y.

posted by joromu at 04:55 PM on April 06

Live in Chapel Hill, there is so much evidence against these guys, its not just going to go away. There are protests like everyday. These guys were blatant racists and and dont think they can be touched. An example will be made. I do believe it was a team only party, hence the whole season being cancelled.

posted by Drallig9399 at 05:23 PM on April 06

It's presuming guilt, and if you're going to decry it in the case of steroids users or people boarding boats full of hookers, you have to apply the standard equally to everyone. The swift cancellation of the season and firing of the coach suggests Duke is a lot more interested in covering its ass than anything approaching justice.

posted by rcade at 06:53 PM on April 06

The_Black_Hand: I wouldn't be surprised if this leads to some clashes between Duke students and some of the locals around the Durham area. Let's hope the locals set an example by resisting the urge to carry out a fruitless, counterproductive gesture. They should aim to prove that unlike some Dukies, they are smarter than they are wealthy.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 07:38 PM on April 06

Rcade: The swift cancellation of the season and firing of the coach suggests Duke is a lot more interested in covering its ass than anything approaching justice. The coach resigned. The cancellation came as a result of the coach's resignation. Before, the coach resigned, the season had been suspended indefinitely. Semantics, I know...but Duke University has had a very quiet approach to this scandal. I think the first official statement came at least a week after the initial allegations were made public. Mostly, the University has been dodging the big questions. I live and go to school in Chapel Hill so I'm still a little shocked by the whole situation, and I'd prefer the whole dirty mess hadn't happened. The past cannot be changed and I hope whoever is responsible (be it rapists or false police reports or something entirely different) is punished accordingly. Now it seems obvious from the evidence released that *something* happened and I think everyone should wait for DNA results and for charges to be filed before accusations are made.

posted by TarheelGirl at 07:59 PM on April 06

Now it seems obvious from the evidence released that *something* happened Yes, something: a woman was verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted. Whether members of the Duke lacrosse team committed this crime remains to be seen. Let us hope that the guilty parties are brought to whatever justice our civilized society allows. In the meantime, I tend to agree with bperk that preventing the team from playing is an appropriate sports punishment at this point. It is hardly "drastic." A bunch of young men will be prevented from playing lacrosse! Some of them know something, and they should have the moral courage to speak up. If they think that protecting their teammates is more important than justice for this victim, then they can all take the sanctions together. And no, I'm not presuming guilt -- I'm saying that the truth, whatever it is, cannot be uncovered as long as these young men insist on remaining silent.

posted by Amateur at 08:46 PM on April 06

for the comment that wfrazer.jr made. until you have been in this situation you don't know what you would do. i would you feel if it was your daughter, mother, or sister. if it never happened to them and all of a sudden it did. they may do something more stupid than that.

posted by SALT at 08:54 PM on April 06

So I guess the only thugs in the ACC aren't just at Florida State and Miami, huh?

posted by jm_mosier at 09:50 PM on April 06

I got my britches scared off. When I heard "Duke cancels lacrosse, " I misunderstood. I thought I heard "Buick cancels Lacrosse." With 47 more payments left, one can imagine the memories that I might have had regarding my ownership of a 1959 Edsel.

posted by Bud Lang at 02:13 AM on April 07

It's a twisted thought, but if the charges are true, it's fortunate for the victim it was the men's lacrosse team and not the men's basketball team. There's no way the season is cancelled if this was the men's basketball team. And even a slimmer chance she would get justice.

posted by forrestv at 06:00 AM on April 07

The sad part about that, forrestv, is that I agree with you. But I hope that wouldn't be the case.

posted by wingnut4life at 06:53 AM on April 07

I believe that the bottom line here is that these student-athletes are representatives of Duke University, and they have done a poor job of that representation. Most are probably on scholarship and they all receive uniforms, equipment transportation to events and meals and lodging while at away events. This is a sort of payment in kind for the representation they provide the University. As a former student-athlete at a Div I school I was held to a higher behavioral standard than were the rest of the student body. What Duke University has done in cancelling the season is really all they can do at this point. This is a criminal matter for the proper authorities to sort out. Cancelling the season is not a punishment, nor will it ever be grounds for defamation of character. They have not said the "Student x or Student y" are rapists with out proof. All they have done is take action to try and protect their reputation as an athletic department and a University that has had their image tarnished by a few members of their student body. I'm sure that if the guilty parties are found, whether it be the accused (lacrosse team) or accuser, then the appropriate actions will be taken by the authorities and Duke University.

posted by shootinggold at 07:56 AM on April 07

Anderson Cooper, who is covering the story on his blog, gets torn a new one by SpoFi's own spitztengle.

posted by smithers at 08:07 AM on April 07

The swift cancellation of the season and firing of the coach suggests Duke is a lot more interested in covering its ass than anything approaching justice. But what would you have them do? This is my biggest problem with responses like this. Of course they're actively trying to protect the institution's reputation - that's part of the job and what any organization would do in the face of these accusations. It's a no brainer - these are terrible accusations. So far, the student athlete's haven't exatly come across as anything less than complicit in a crime. Their behaviour is less than adequate by any standard. And they made this bed - not by having the party, but by choosing to stonewall the investigation. I feel comfortable in them lying in it. Besides - someone will break. Someone always breaks.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:51 AM on April 07

bperk, you're still ignoring the basic premise of my argument -- no charges have been filed and we have no idea whether these players are being told not to say anything by their lawyers or if they are actually stonewalling out of some stupid team loyalty. It's the job of the prosecutors in the area to handle possible obstruction of justice charges, not Duke University. Chico, I'd have them not label the entire team as rapists, which is what they have implicitly done. It's an ugly situation for Duke, yes ... but if they wanted to get a handle on this, they had plenty of opportunities earlier when all the complaints were being filed by neighbors. They failed, and now to compensate, they are overreacting. That sounds like a horrible thing to say in a possible rape case, but again, we don't know the facts behind the case yet. In the eyes of the law, there is no rape right now, because there are no charges. For the Smithers link: Not a bad piece, but I can't get behind a guy who insists on using multiple question marks for emphasis.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:05 AM on April 07

forrestv, I would like to believe that Mike Krzyzewski would never let the culture of Duke's basketball team get this out of hand. He can choose from a much larger talent pool for his team, though, and character should (should) factor into who he recruits. The lacrosse team, on the other hand, is choosing from a smaller talent pool, and between that, the sense of privilege a bourgeois-skewed sport like lacrosse tends to attract (you don't see a lot of inner city kids with lacrosse sticks, do you?) and the apparently lax attitude up to now by the administration and coaching staff towards discipline, the odds of this happening in a lacrosse program with a lot of self-entitled rich kids flying more or less under the national media radar are worse than in Duke's marquee sports program. I have no idea if any of the above is true (admittedly, frexample, it wasn't the case at Baylor a couple of years ago), but that's what I'd like to believe.

posted by chicobangs at 09:07 AM on April 07

[T]he odds of this happening in a lacrosse program with a lot of self-entitled rich kids flying more or less under the national media radar are worse than in Duke's marquee sports program. Something in the above ("self-entitled rich kids") gets at a big question for me when I read about these stuides of sports and violence. Is there something inherent in the culture of male sports that leads to this type of behavior, or can it be explained more appropriately by other factors (entitled status more generally, education level of athletes, tendency of more testosterone-fueled sociopaths to participate in sports, etc.)? Perhaps the literature in this field addresses the issue, but a lot of the statistics I have seen draw correlations between athletes and violent crime (basically showing that athletes are more likely to commit violent crimes) as if that is proof that sports culture leads to violence, without controlling for (or even acknowledging) other factors that may better explain or otherwise help explain what makes someone more likely to commit a violent crime.

posted by holden at 09:52 AM on April 07

I think spitzengle needs to read the SpoFi links to the story. (I won't even get into the racial tensions that this Duke case has incited because the one black team member was the only one not required to provide a DNA sample). The accuser said she was raped by three white men. Therefore the black player does not fit the description, so what would be the point of testing him. However one of my local papers conveniently left out that part too. Judging by chico's statement racial tensions already existed and the parts of the media that try to play it up by leaving out information are really irritating me. In the eyes of the law, there is no rape right now, because there are no charges. There are no charges yet because there is still an on going investigation that the whole team is hindering for the sake of at least three players. I think that in itself gives Duke every right to cancel the season. Even if Duke is doing it just to cover thier ass and the players are being told to not say anything by their lawyers.

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:05 AM on April 07

If Duke expelled or suspended them, then that would be overreacting, but sports are an extracurricular activity.

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:15 AM on April 07

You can't bring charges until you know who to bring them against. They have to wait for the DNA test or someone to come forward and tell who was involved. That doesn't mean they are saying there was no rape.

posted by skydivemom at 10:16 AM on April 07

bperk, you're still ignoring the basic premise of my argument -- no charges have been filed and we have no idea whether these players are being told not to say anything by their lawyers or if they are actually stonewalling out of some stupid team loyalty. It's the job of the prosecutors in the area to handle possible obstruction of justice charges, not Duke University. You are assuming that they are being punished for the allegations instead of the behavior they admit. There are a couple of reasons that I feel that this is not a case of punishing them before they are determined to be guilty. First, the lacrosse team admits that their behavior at the party (i.e. hiring strippers and serving alcohol to underage folks) was ill-advised. As a direct result of that ill-advised behavior (i.e. a drunken party with hired strippers), the entire lacrosse team is being investigated for rape bringing a whole lot of negative attention to Duke. Second, Duke is unable to decide which, if any, of the players are at fault for this party because the players remain silent. The university either is going to punish the entire lacrosse team for the party or punish no one since there is no way to know who was responsible for what. The university cannot send a message that if you stick together and keep your mouths shut, you will escape punishment. It may very well be the case that the players have been advised to keep their mouths shut -- most of them seem to share the same legal counsel. However, that does not absolve Duke of the responsibility for making sure that behavior that falls below university standards are adequately punished. Finally, I don't know what an adequate punishment would be for an out-of-control party, but four games and the ACC tournament doesn't sound too terribly harsh. However, that punishment would be ridiculously lenient if the university was, as you suggest, attempting to punish them for gang rape.

posted by bperk at 10:40 AM on April 07

njsk8r20: I think you are right that spitztengle got a little sidetracked with the racial issue....even Jason Whitlock feels it has less to do with race than other factors, such as gender and privilege. Still, I do believe that spitztengle's main thesis was in highlighting the continuing climate of sexually inappropriate behaviour in jock culture -- whether black, white, male on female, or male on male (eg. as in the Laura Robinson book and/or the McGill football team scandal). For that, I think he is right in calling BS on Anderson Cooper.

posted by smithers at 10:58 AM on April 07

I wasn't trying to discredit spitztengle at all. I thought he did good job calling out the BS. I was more concerned with certain media outlets making the situation worse by just mentioning "the only black player on the team is not getting DNA tested." without giving the reason why.

posted by njsk8r20 at 11:17 AM on April 07

I didn't say they were saying there was no rape, SDmom ... I said in the eyes of the law, there is no criminal activity until charges are filed. Second, Duke is unable to decide which, if any, of the players are at fault for this party because the players remain silent. The university either is going to punish the entire lacrosse team for the party or punish no one since there is no way to know who was responsible for what. If Duke felt having a drunken party was reason enough to paint the entire team with the same brush, it seems they had plenty of opportunity to do so earlier and chose not to. The university is doing it now to save face. And there's a perfectly good way to determine who was involved in the alleged rape -- wait for the DNA tests to come back and let any appropriate charges be filed by the prosecutor. Look, I'm not saying I disagree with the suspension. I'm saying Duke is doing it now to make themselves look like they're stepping up to the plate -- and they apparently struck out on this one a long time ago.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:22 AM on April 07

I want to bring something else up, which I'm sure I'm going to be absolutely crucified for, but I'll do it anyway. It comes from an article I linked above, and it's something I haven't read in any other coverage of this. The victim has been called a "stripper" or "exotic dancer", but in that interview with her, she says: The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week. "It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule. I'm just going to say this -- doesn't "escort service" generally mean "prostitute"? I'm not saying this to excuse whatever happened at the party -- the right to say "no" at any time stands for any person -- but wouldn't it make it a heck of a lot more difficult to prove this if the victim had been hiring herself out as an escort? Okay, go ahead and start lambasting me now.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:30 AM on April 07

Look, I'm not saying I disagree with the suspension. I'm saying Duke is doing it now to make themselves look like they're stepping up to the plate -- and they apparently struck out on this one a long time ago. I agree with you. Obviously, the drunken party and allegations only were not enough for Duke to suspend the season. They found out about the party and the allegations by March 15. The lacrosse team played in at least two more games after that. It wasn't until the public outrage has exploded before Duke took any action.

posted by bperk at 11:36 AM on April 07

I'm just going to say this -- doesn't "escort service" generally mean "prostitute"? I'm not saying this to excuse whatever happened at the party -- the right to say "no" at any time stands for any person -- but wouldn't it make it a heck of a lot more difficult to prove this if the victim had been hiring herself out as an escort? Not really because the character and past behavior of rape victims is usually inadmissible in court. The reason for this is the perception that a woman who dresses provocatively or has given herself freely in the past is frequently judged more harshly than the accused. However, I don't think escort necessary means prostitute, but it certainly could. The only reason you should be lambasted for your statements is that you seem to be a little bit focused on her actions. You mentioned the shoe thing and now the escort thing. The woman ended up in the hospital and it certainly appears that she was raped. Questioning her credibility for no apparent reason (unless you think she might have a vendetta against them) seems a little premature. While the guys involved certainly deserve the presumption of innocence, she also deserves the presumption that she isn't making up a rape charge to stick it to the man.

posted by bperk at 11:43 AM on April 07

bperk, fair enough, although I don't think mentioning two pieces of the case can be put on par with saying she's making the whole thing up. It just seems odd that someone would go in to retrieve a pair of shoes after an assault, and I'm just curious about the "escort" angle -- again, it wouldn't excuse anything criminal that happened to her. From my understanding of the escort business (no, I have never hired an escort, but they are quasi-legal in Canada and advertise in the papers), it can go either way. It just seems like it would make it much more difficult to prove a rape case if she had been contracting herself out through a business that provides a service based on sex.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:03 PM on April 07

The article wasn't really clear about the timeline, but I think the assault took place when she went back in to get her shoes. But yeah, if they were that upset and scared enough to leave in the first place, then it does not make sense to go back inside just for a pair of shoes. And about the escort/prostitute thing, I thought the same thing as wfrazerjr when I read that, but the medical report said here injuries were consistent with a rape.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:18 PM on April 07

It just seems like it would make it much more difficult to prove a rape case if she had been contracting herself out through a business that provides a service based on sex. Generally, that escort information would not be admissible in North Carolina unless: (1) one of the defendants had hired her as an escort in the past; (2) the escort evidence shows that her injuries were the result of sex with someone else; (3) she has hired herself out for sex to groups of guys, such that their version of consensual sex is reasonable; or (4) it is part of testimony that she is prone to fantasies such that she makes things up. But yeah, if they were that upset It just seems odd that someone would go in to retrieve a pair of shoes after an assault That's the kind of thinking you should probably avoid when thinking about sexual assaults. People don't always act rationally and holding them to the "reasonable person" standard is pretty unfair.

posted by bperk at 12:41 PM on April 07

I'm not sure who you are quoting bperk, it looks like a cross between what I said and what fraze said, which are based on two different timelines. This is the way I see it, Just moments after she and another exotic dancer started to perform, she said, men in the house started barking racial slurs. The two women, both black, stopped dancing. "We started to cry," she said. "We were so scared."... ...Bissey saw two women arrive and, after they were in the house 20 minutes, come out. As they got into a car, men shouted, Bissey said. At this point, there was no assault. There is no reason for the woman not to be thinking rationally (unless she was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs). The best thing to do would be to leave. After a few minutes, everything seemed to calm down, he said. One of the women headed back into the house, saying she forgot her shoes. When she went back into the house, by herself, is when I think the assault happened. Of course, if all she is guilty of is poor judgement, that does not mean she deserved to be assaulted, and it wouldn't excuse anything criminal that happened to her.

posted by njsk8r20 at 01:39 PM on April 07

NJ, you may be right about the timeline. It's difficult to piece it together from the two accounts being mixed together in that report. bperk, good point about holding someone to a rational standard in such a case.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:43 PM on April 07

if they were that upset and scared enough to leave in the first place, then it does not make sense to go back inside just for a pair of shoes. posted by njsk8r20 at 12:18 PM CST on April 7 skater - just a pair of shoes? Some women pay more for shoes than I paid for my last car. Shoes are very important and I could see someone going back for them. Would you have gone back for your board?

posted by skydivemom at 06:28 PM on April 07

There's no way, its not worth it. Skateboard deck w/ griptate - $35 Skateboard trucks - $42 Skateboard wheels - $24 ABEC-7 bearings - $40 Not getting anal raped - priceless

posted by njsk8r20 at 07:08 PM on April 07

njsk8r20, you comment itself was priceless. However, I do have to agree with skydivemom's first comment, because girls spend outrageous sums on things that have more practical versions at a much lower price (like spending $100+ dollars on pants that match with one shirt when you can just get blue jeans and put on any shirt. Makes no sense to me).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:15 PM on April 07

Also, no one uses abec rated bearings anymore...

posted by everett at 09:35 PM on April 07

Also, no one uses abec rated bearings anymore... Oooh, skater fight, skater fight! So what happens now? Someone gleams the cube or something?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:00 AM on April 08

no one uses abec rated bearings anymore... Oh, we still do. However, nobody gleams the cube anymore but we still search for animal chin. Whatever happened to Christian Slater?

posted by njsk8r20 at 02:31 PM on April 08

However, I do have to agree with skydivemom's first comment, because girls spend outrageous sums on things that have more practical versions at a much lower price (like spending $100+ dollars on pants that match with one shirt when you can just get blue jeans and put on any shirt. Makes no sense to me). YYM, you obviously don't have a wife or girlfriend with a taste for designer jeans.

posted by holden at 07:30 PM on April 08

That kind of logic goes out the window once a $100+ pair of jeans hits your floor, kiddo.

posted by yerfatma at 07:56 PM on April 08

Defense lawyers are saying DNA tests done on the victim have come back negative for any member of the Duke lacrosse team. Also, CNN's Nancy Grace is an absolute disgrace. I have no idea of her credentials or why CNN thinks she should have her own show, but I have never seen a more biased host. This shrieking harpie makes Bill O'Reilly look like Edward R. Murrow.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:28 AM on April 11

This just raises all kinds of questions. With wording like "They swabbed about every place they could possibly swab from her, in which there could be any DNA," that makes it sound like there wasn't any DNA found on the victim to even match to the accused. It doesn't say that "the DNA found does not match any of the players". And then theres this part: time-stamped photos from the party showed the woman was impaired and injured when she arrived. This is certainly plausable, but why were her broken off fingernails found at the house? Of course there's always the scandal: Nifong is also waging another battle: He's running for election to his office he was appointed to the post a year ago after 27 years in the district attorney's office and is facing accusations from defense attorneys that he's grandstanding to win votes in the anti-Duke community. Which, IMO ,is just a red herring.

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:08 AM on April 11

Also, CNN's Nancy Grace is an absolute disgrace. I have no idea of her credentials or why CNN thinks she should have her own show, but I have never seen a more biased host. This shrieking harpie makes Bill O'Reilly look like Edward R. Murrow. She has always been like that. She is so biased that it is hard to believe that she was ever involved in the legal system.

posted by bperk at 10:40 AM on April 11

wfrazerjr: This shrieking harpie makes Bill O'Reilly look like Edward R. Murrow. You think Ed Murrow wasn't biased? Y-y-o-k-a-y-y-y....

posted by L.N. Smithee at 03:36 PM on April 11

You think Ed Murrow wasn't biased? I know, that was terrible how he criticized McCarthyism.

posted by bperk at 04:40 PM on April 11

There's a difference between being biased and being correct, L.N., or should journalists also give fair and impartial coverage to NAMBLA and the KKK?

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:59 AM on April 12

This whole controversy is out of control...the DA should never have gone public in such a broadcast way as his story and the woman's story now seem to be unfolding...Looks like a bunch of "boys" hired a couple of strippers (gross, yes, but unfortunately not too uncommon on college campuses)...One woman arrives so inebriated that she is not able to perform. These "boys" get pissed and shout inappropriate remarks (again, not very nice but we all remember what the playground was like as a kid). They try to take their money back because she "danced" for a couple of minutes and they contracted thru the agency for a couple of hours. She and the other dancer leave after being yelled at and they know they didn't live up to their end of the contract (they don't go to the hospital or the police station but to a Kroegers?) and then in retaliation, cry rape. Rape is an assault on all of us, regardless of race, religion, status, income level, education and yes, believe it or not, gender....I see a Tawana Brawley case all over and its disgusting!!!! (oh, I am female by the way!)

posted by rollingthunder at 11:57 AM on April 13

It doesn't matter if you are female or male. Your "story" makes it seem like you were there and know what happened. If that is the case, you should definitely talk to the police and let them know. Otherwise, you are just talking shit and assuming someone's guilt. That makes you no better than someone who would call those guys rapists.

posted by bperk at 02:33 PM on April 13

Put the pieces together...listen to the 911 tapes...When they called 911 the first time from the car,why didn't they tell the operator what had occurred...The team is being silent on the advice of legal counsel...no DNA with something as violent that claims to have taken place anywhere and no delay in time (she didn't shower, change clothes, etc)...How can this possibly have occurred, it makes absolutely no sense!

posted by rollingthunder at 05:03 PM on April 13

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