Thursday, 30 March 2006

Attorney for lacrosse co-captain speaks

This article from WRAL has a pretty good roundup of today’s developments (or lack thereof) in the Duke lacrosse scandal, including ambulance chaser attorney Joe Cheshire, who represents one of the team captains who was not named in the warrant, hitting back at Righteous Townie DA Mike Nifong. Also mentioned are a form letter from President Brodhead to all of the parents of current Duke undergraduates, and the Mystery of the First 911 Call.

Speaking of backlash, for the most part neither dukeobsrvr nor his/her commenters are laying down for the dominant narrative in the case, reflecting the impression I got from my unscientific observation of the chatter on a full east-west bus this afternoon.

George Mason: appearing in the Final Four at taxpayers' expense

I’ve already asserted that George Mason University’s basketball team shouldn’t be held up as some sort of exemplar of the triumph of classical liberalism. Another data point in this critique arrives from Indianapolis Star writer Mark Alesia, whose paper surveyed all of the public colleges and universities in NCAA Division I and found that the average public institution subsidizes its Division I athletic program to the tune of $5 million per year.

Those plucky underdog classical liberals at George Mason’s athletic department reached the Final Four on $1.1 million of “direct institutional support” and an additional $7.57 million in mandatory student fees, much of which were picked up indirectly by the taxpayer through grants or loan subsidies. Good old George would be proud. (þ: UD)

Duke under siege, day four: the buses are burning

Surprisingly, the bus that caught fire at the West Campus turnaround yesterday apparently wasn’t arson committed by a Righteous Townie, but instead just the result of routine crappy maintenance by Duke Transit.

In rape investigation news, a dorm room at Duke was searched on Monday, by Durham PD apparently without the foreknowledge of Righteous Townie AD Mike Nifong, the lacrosse team allegedly continues to show (White) Brother Solidarity by wearing their lacrosse team T-shirts around campus and otherwise behaving boorishly (some members having the temerity, for example, to buy lunch from campus hot dog vendor Pauly Dogs and discuss the topic everyone else is talking about with other people in line), DSG surprises nobody by doing nothing, and the local Students for Academic Freedom ringleader went and cried to police about a professor being mean to David Horowitz (which, of course, has nothing to do with the rape investigation, except for wasting the time of prosecutors and police that might be better spent on other things, like, I dunno, the rape investigation). Sadly I was not named in the SAF’s complaint.

In the blogosphere, Duke alum Ralph Luker reacts, while University Diaries links a Washingtonian Magazine story on a cheating scandal at the Landon School, one of the DC-area prep schools that serves as a feeder to the Duke lacrosse team. And, you can go read the original search warrant courtesy of The Smoking Gun (þ: UD and Alfie)—incidentally, the item taken from the house that stands out on the list (the K-Y jelly bottle) is the one thing that isn’t named as an object of the search at the beginning of the warrant.

Elsewhere, Amber Taylor dislikes appeals to conscience based on the alleged victim’s having male (or female) relatives, and Brendan Nyhan notes that, since the second “exotic dancer” has finally surfaced and talked to police, some inconsistencies between the accounts of the evening have emerged.

It’s also not entirely clear to me that the first 911 call, alleging the use of racial slurs by the partygoers, wasn’t made by one of the two women in question—most likely the woman who wasn’t allegedly raped—although it has been presented as being a call by two black women who happened to be passing by the 610 house on foot around the same time as the incident. Today’s Herald-Sun looks at this angle, which I’d been pondering on my own over the past two days or so, since I learned of the 911 calls. (þ: BN)

NewsRadio QotD

Dave (to Bill): Would it be impolite at this point in the conversation to just run away from you?