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(or why I check the net for info on my alma mater more than I do for my business)

Back in March of 2006, I attended a lacrosse game in Durham, North Carolina, between my alma mater, Duke, and the University of Maryland.  The two teams were ranked #1 and #2 at the time and the game lived up to its billing with a 10-9 outcome determined in overtime.  Little did I know that I would attend one of the last games of Dukeís 2006 lacrosse season.

The news about the alleged rape surfaced on www.dukebasketballreport.com, a website that I frequent because it provides me with information about the Blue Devil basketball team.  However, Duke fans are loyal and the site will post updates on the other major sports teams even thought www.goduke.com is the official outlet.

When I first heard about the incident, I sloughed it off as nothing more than a fee dispute between a couple of strippers who didnít receive the tips that they expected.  Strippers werenít part of the team culture when I attended college, but werenít an unknown item inside the fraternity culture.  I was not pleased to hear of the racial epithets that the players reportedly shouted, but did not expect to hear of the more serious charges that surfaced.

By now, the entire country and world has heard of the incident, the charges against the three players, and the dubious actions of the district attorney.  The traditional media and the modern media, bloggers, have covered this situation for a long while.  My favorite blog coverage is the site, Durham in Wonderland (http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/search?q=), which is run by a professor with no connections to Duke at Brooklyn College in New York.

At this point, the District Attorney has dismissed the rape charges but left the other charges intact.  His manipulation of the photo lineup and DNA test results have led to major North Carolina papers calling for an investigation into his investigation.  The process in which he has handled the case has made the North Carolina justice system look like the justice system of Hazard County when Boss Hogg ran it.  I find it amazing that no one inside North Carolinaís legal system has asked for an investigation.  At least one North Carolina Congressman has had the gumption to ask the U.S. Attorney General to take a look at the D.A.ís actions.

Meanwhile, Dukeís President is finally asking that the D.A. treat the accused students fairly.  Had he taken this stance last spring, this case may not have proceeded as far as it has.  Running any university is not easy, much less a prestigious one, but letting political correctness take over your common sense is hard for me to comprehend.  Because of this incident, the President terminated the teamís season, fired the head coach, and did not allow the two undergraduates to return to school while the case was still open.  The only educators to defend the students initially were the headmasters from their high schools and not Dukeís president.  Mike Pressler, Dukeís lacrosse coach, is a great guy who was made the fall guy.  A later investigation led by a Duke law professor revealed that the lacrosse teamís discipline and academic records were better than the average for athletic teams.

Letís hope this case is resolved soon.

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
January, 2007


 

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