Monday, 1 May 2006

The great non-escape

I think I’ve spent more time discussing the Duke lacrosse scandal in St. Louis today than I had all of last week.

A couple of noteworthy links from the wrong time zone:

  • There’s commentary from KC Johnson on the DA’s race and a filing by Reade Seligmann’s attorney; Johnson also has a column up at InsideHigherEd that’s worth a read.
  • Allison Clarke notes the release of the lacrosse committee report. Personally, I’m rather surprised that they recommended returning the team to the field, although that call is (obviously) up to the athletics department and Dick Brodhead. My general view on the concerns about the alcohol policy is “meh”; conflating the problems of underage and excessive drinking is rather silly in my mind, but then again I think (with the immigration protests today) conflation has become something of a theme for May 1.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

What is up with the Duke golf team? They are the only ones who have more violations per member than the lax team.

The defense motion was very comprehensive. Nifong is the Isiah Thomas of DA’s. Inept, arrogant and delusional.

I heard that the victim also filed a claim to get additional pay from her former employer. She lost because they had a right to fire her due to her undisclosed criminal record. The AV seems to make claims at an alarming rate. A rudimentary investigation should have flagged some of these things. The Durham PD is having a rough go of it here.

[Permalink] 2. tdukie wrote @ Tue, 2 May 2006, 6:12 am CDT:

yes, but imposing a more stringent alcohol policy will give useless student affairs administrators something to “do”...score one for the biggest rent-seeking bureaucrats of higher education!

[Permalink] 3. Charlie wrote @ Tue, 2 May 2006, 7:24 am CDT:


Wondering if you had any thoughts on the somewhat egregious use of the descriptive statistics in the report on the lacrosse team itself (50% of X disciplinary cases were lacrosse players) with an N of 2? Seems like whoever on the committee would have benefited from your quant political analysis course. – Charlie

[Permalink] 4. Thinking in Jerz wrote @ Tue, 2 May 2006, 9:47 am CDT:

Comparing Nifong to Isaiah may actually insult Isaiah…all he did was destroy a potentially viable basketball league in the CBA and run one of the NBA’s most storied franchises in to the ground. Nifong has (at least temporarily) derailed the lives of more than 40 promising young student athletes all of whom I am sure aren’t the “boorish” animals they have been portrayed to be.

The rush to judge the “privileged white male” in this case is as sickening as the racism that prevails in this society today. I am happy that at least Reade’s high school had the “cajones” to stand behind the kid before sacrificing him to the wolves. If I were any of these kids I would seriously consider things before deciding to return to Duke.


Chris, had you seen Malcolm Gladwell’s post on eyewitness identification across races? Gladwell wrote a great piece on research behind this general concept in his book, Blink. While he doesn’t comment directly on the Duke case per se, his essay is certainly food for thought.


Duke Lacrosse Player: There Was No Rape

May 2, 2006 — A Duke University lacrosse player says in an exclusive interview with ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., that there was no rape at the party on March 13 when a woman says three members of the team sexually assaulted her.

In the first on-camera interview with a Duke lacrosse…

[Permalink] 7. azbballfan wrote @ Tue, 2 May 2006, 7:26 pm CDT:


Thanks for the story. Interesting how he seemed to focus on lamenting over the school’s response and the coach’s departure. It is sad that the boys didn’t get a chance to play in the tournament.

Poor reporting as the only pertinent information given in the story is the headline. The player didn’t give any information about the party, the incident, or even say he was there.

[Permalink] 8. Scott wrote @ Tue, 2 May 2006, 7:57 pm CDT:

Find a place in St. Louis?



He probably told the reporter at the outset—on advice of counsel—that he wouldn’t give any specifics about the party or the alleged incident. The media glommed onto his blanket assertion that there was no rape and put it in the headline in order to attract eyeballs. It worked. From their standpoint, the rest of the story could have been about final exams, not lacrosse.

Until a third suspect is identified by the AV and indicted, every other white member of the team remains a potential suspect, and ought to keep quiet. It seems clear that facts don’t matter here; random justice is just fine, so long as a rich white kid gets skewered. Gotta make up for historical injustices, you know, and it doesn’t matter who.

As to the school’s response and the coach’s departure, I think that’s been the under-reported story. The new Duke administration forgot the rule of law, panicked from the outset, and only became more reactionary—“Ready, fire, aim.” The real triggering event seemed to be MacFadyen’s late night, alcohol and Hollywood-inspired e-mail to his buddies, which, though revolting on its face, was neither criminal nor evidence of criminality. I’m surprised that it became public at all; it’s irrelevant yet inflammatory and extremely prejudicial.

The world is full of boorish people, and Duke ought to have its representative share of them. Just tune your tv to any number of cable channels, or even the broadcast networks, and you’ll find boorish people earning millions putting their boorishness on public display. Maybe better still, go to a music store. If we put all of them in jail, expel all of them from school, and/or label them as outcasts, it wouldn’t affect just Duke lacrosse. A lot of today’s popular culture would be extinguished. Sad commentary.


Scott: No, not yet… I probably have it narrowed down to 3–4 neighborhoods for my trip later in the month, though.

[Permalink] 11. Irielax17 wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 6:49 am CDT:

Chris, be careful on your future travels as I have just learned that the eath may not be flat!

[Permalink] 12. Scott wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 8:06 am CDT:

Irielax17: ...someone hasn’t been reading their Thomas Friedman!

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