Monday, June 18, 2007

Duke Reaches Settlement With Players

From The New York Times:
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) --
Duke University has reached an undisclosed financial settlement with three former lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, the school said Monday.

Duke suspended Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans after they were charged last year with raping a stripper at an off-campus party. The university also canceled the team's season and forced their coach to resign.

''We welcomed their exoneration and deeply regret the difficult year they and their families have had to endure,'' the school said in a statement. ''These young men and their families have been the subject of intense scrutiny that has taken a heavy toll.''...

The players' families racked up millions of dollars of legal bills in their defense, and appear likely to file a lawsuit against Nifong.

The players said in a joint statement that they hoped the agreement would ''begin to bring the Duke family back together again.''

''The events of the last year tore the Duke community apart, and forcibly separated us from the university we love,'' they said. ''We were the victims of a rogue prosecutor concerned only with winning an election, and others determined to railroad three Duke lacrosse players and to diminish the reputation of Duke University.''

One wonders whether the terms will emerge...
Meanwhile, Nifong has been disbarred, and deserves worse.


Anonymous said...

The "WHITEWASH" continues.It is like these young white men did nothing wrong including the racial epitats directed at the young black woman in question. She could have taken even more drastic action in reply to their actions.

Anonymous said...

What about the 88 that wanted those three guys hides! There was a big picture of them showing support for the poor girl that was rapped. SHE WAS A STRIPPER FOR god's sake! NOT A SAINT! She was going to make money. THE GOOD OLD AMERICAN WAY... Working for it.. Not the new American Way of taking someone to court. This whole thing makes me sick... She should be in jail for what she did. Nifong in jail for what he did. These kids need to get their life back and the parents the cash plus some back.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused as to why there is no coverage re a suit by the Lacrosse coach against Duke. Surely his situation pales in comparison to the players; but he was as innocent as anyone. Should he not have recourse against Duke? His name never seems to come up in the coverage.

Alan Jay Weisbard said...

This is a little experiment on running anonymous comments of a sort (some, but not all) that I have generally been reluctant to put up--strongly opinionated, with little sense of balance or nuance. Reactions?

On the substance: I have tried to make clear my own repugnance at the party at which this all transpired. I am not inclined to view any of the participants as saints (or heroes), and I prefer that universities (including my own) not turn a blind eye to such disgusting goings on. To some degree, this has implications for the professional obligations of coaches of sports teams, which may be especially susceptible to alcohol and testosterone-fueled parties that invite abusive behavior.
That said, there is a very big step from out-of-control parties to criminal accusations that can land people in prison for decades. And still another huge step to lawless, out-of-control prosecutors who abuse their awesome power to ruin people's lives in their pursuit of media attention and political advantage, as Nifong appears to have done in this case. (Nor am I a fan of those who make false accusations of criminal misconduct, but there may be relevant personal circumstances I am not privy to in this case that counsel some withholding of final judgment...)