Updated - today's items:
Aaron Beard, AP/Fox News:
Duke University Lacrosse Team Makes Triumphant Return to Playing Field — A season lost. Three players indicted for rape. Nearly a year of criticism for everyone associated with Duke lacrosse. But on this day, none of that seemed to matter.
Playing their first game in 11 months, the Blue Devils opened the 2007 season Saturday with a 17-11 win against Dartmouth in front of a huge crowd cheering their every move.
It was a triumphant return for the Blue Devils, whose season was canceled last spring amid the rape allegations that touched off a debate on sports, race, class and privilege at the elite private university. And it was clear this game was more than a game, from the steady stream of students who poured into Koskinen Stadium on a sunny February afternoon to the throng of reporters covering the event...
Before the game, the Blue Devils wore black warmup jerseys bearing either No. 6, 13 or 45 — the numbers of charged players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann...
Greer's Six Guide No. 6 Duke Past Dartmouth, 17-11 — Junior attackman Zack Greer scored six goals and Duke overcame an early 3-1 deficit as the sixth-ranked Blue Devils defeated Dartmouth, 17-11, in men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon as 6,485 fans looked on at sun-soaked Koskinen Stadium. The game marked the season-opener for both squads...
Duke 17, Dartmouth 11 (game scorecard)
Mike Keegan, Inside Lacrosse:
Durham bound — You know you’re early for a game when……the girl at the stadium gate tells you the media passes haven’t arrived yet.…you get to watch the staff set up the press box.…the sprinklers on the field are on. Yep, it’s 11 a.m. and I just got here, three hours before game time...
ESPN: Duke lacrosse triumphant in 2007 debut - with video
WRAL: Duke Lacrosse Team Wins First Match After Suspension - with video
LieStoppers forum: DUKE BEATS DARTMOUTH 17-11
LieStoppers forum: Fox News Live, Live from Duke
KC Johnson: Lacrosse Wins First Game Back
FreeRepublic: Duke lacrosse makes triumphant return to field (Beats Dartmouth 17-11)
Edward G. Robinson III, News & Observer:
Duke lacrosse looks to focus on team, not scandal — A new season, attitude begins today against Dartmouth — Casual conversations about the Duke men's lacrosse team today might involve the game, although it is unlikely.
Yet as the Blue Devils host their first game of the season today, talk is likely to focus on the scandal that has swept this program and the city of Durham into the national spotlight. The Blue Devils host Dartmouth at 2 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium, a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
Yet conversations will likely be placed in the context of how this program will respond after its 2006 season was suspended when rape allegations were brought against three of its players after an escort service dancer said she was sexually assaulted at a lacrosse team party last March...
Jack Daly, Herald-Sun:
Spectacle again as Devils start season — The Blue Devils nonetheless will bring some of that past into the present. Different Duke units -- defenders, midfielders, attack players -- will wear the numbers of the accused players on their warm-ups. The team helmets will also have two decals: one for Jimmy Regan, a former player who died serving in Iraq, and another for a division the team is sponsoring in Iraq...
Eric Tucker, AP/News & Observer:
Pressler happy leading Bryant — The last time Mike Pressler prepared for a lacrosse season, his Duke team was among the nation's best. But after an escort service dancer accused three lacrosse players of sexually assaulting her at a March team party, Duke canceled its season, and Pressler resigned. He feared he'd never coach again.
"Nine, 10 months ago, there's no way I thought I'd be sitting here doing this again," Pressler told reporters Friday at Bryant University, the northern Rhode Island school that hired him as lacrosse coach.
"There was a time during the summer where I thought my career was over." ...
Admissions and the Trustees' Dilemma — A few days ago in the Q+A post, I included a couple of questions from people suggesting that the case would negatively affect admissions. In response, I noted that the Trustees should have become more involved in ensuring a fair education environment for all students...
the Trustees should have stepped in. With institutional leverage that Brodhead does not possess, they could have made clear that all who engaged in misconduct will be held accountable—even if only through a letter in the file or some form of professional wrist-slapping—to a standard that Duke, as an institution, will not tolerate faculty who disrespect the school's own students...
Julius Caesar "JC" Watts, Pahrump Valley Times:
When justice isn't served — Earlier this year, we witnessed a similar affront to justice when North Carolina district attorney Mike Nifong resigned from the Duke University lacrosse rape case in the midst of accusations that he had failed to disclose pertinent evidence.
Nifong had claimed throughout the proceedings that he had provided the defense with all available evidence. Nifong now faces sanctions from the North Carolina state bar because he had no concern that the withheld evidence would almost shatter innocent lives.
It wouldn't take long to scan the judicial archives of recent years and uncover many similar scenarios at both the state and federal levels...
JC Watts and The Nifong Cite — As D.A.M.N. Appreciation Week draws to a close in Durham, we find another reminder of the nearly universal acceptance of the disrepute brought to the justice system by District Attorney Mike Nifong and his hijacking of the hoax.
In his twice monthly column for the Pahrump Valley Times, JC Watts , former chairman of the Republican Conference of the U.S. House, where he served as an Oklahoma representative from 1995 to 2002, employs the Nifong cite by using Nifong’s scandal as an example of “government judicial shenanigans” to firm up his dual arguments that injustice occurred in the case of former Border Patrol agent David Sipe and that public servants who cheat must be held accountable...
Forum topics of note:
Cash Michaels, TalkLeft
TALES OF CHESHIRE — Admittedly, the only thing this post has to do with the Duke case is its connection to probably the most prominent Duke Three attorney, Joseph Cheshire.
Of course, attorney Cheshire assures us, without a doubt, that no crimes (beyond underage drinking) occurred the night of March 13, 2006 at the Duke lacrosse team party, but if any indeed did, the Duke Three are completely innocent. Cheshire says this with confidence because, as best as we can tell, the authorities are hard pressed, so far, to prove the case.
But what would he say if it were the other way around, and authorities had more than enough evidence, in addition to grand jury testimony, proving that serious felonies were indeed committed by his client? Well wonder no more! ...
LieStoppers: Limbo: How low will Cash go?, The idiot speaks — When was the last time Cash actually did any - you know, reporting? Seems he's resigned himself to throwing idiocy up on messageboards and seeing what falls off into a column. Silly person...
LieStoppers: Ending the Embarrassment of Cash, NBC17 continues to use him on "At Issue"
Betsy Newmark, Betsy's Page:
The other rape at Duke — As a mother of one Duke graduate and another daughter who is there now, this aspect of the case also struck me. Though I must say that neither girl has encountered anything like this sort of bias in their classes. They've either been lucky or have made better course selections.
Also, as a teacher, I fully agree with KC. No teacher should start trashing his or her students in public like this. It's not quite the rules of doctors in respect to their patients, but to me it's part of an unwritten contract...
Bob Sikes, Getting Paid to Watch blog:
The Continuing Story at Duke and the Shame of the Group of 88 — Readers here know that I’ve touched on this subject somewhat and my points have concerned the behavior of Duke’s notorious Group of 88, a portion of its faculty which publically condemned the Duke Lacrosse Team with a broad brush. My own belief it is unethical for someone who is a teacher of students should not be making such judgements public, let alone acting upon them in a manner which advances a personal social or political agenda...
Unlike the 88, will Professor Johnson apologize? — Yet another admiring anonymous commenter was so disappointed as to call for the Professor to do what the Group of 88 won't - apologize:
"I was deeply saddened to read your seemingly throw-away reference to Justice Clarence Thomas in characterizing Joyner's current perspective on prosecutorial actions. I've loved reading your blog over the past months and you seem to be a straight shooter. In that regard, I feel you owe Justice Thomas an apology or, in the alternative, your readers a complete cite of cases where the type of conduct engaged in by Nifong meets with Justice Thomas' approval from a constitutional basis."
In those are the only choices, an apology should be forthcoming. Justice Thomas is an honorable person and no honorable person approves of Nifong's egregious misconduct.
The next anonymous commenter asked the obvious question: "Where is the evidence that Clarence Thomas supports prosecutorial misconduct?"...
Joyner's Jurisprudence (see comments) — Joyner’s personal preferences on criminal justice issues actually resemble the positions of not the national NAACP but of Clarence Thomas...
... comment: "tough crowd"
J. Matt Barber, Canadian Free Press:
Hate Bloggers, Death Threats and Apologies Abound (2/19) — Last week, Concerned Women for America (CWA) broke the news about an apparent threat to the life of pro-family advocate Peter LaBarbera made by a commenter on lesbian activist Pam Spaulding's anti-Christian site Pam's House Blend.
Spaulding is an information technology manager with Duke University Press, and her employer appears quite proud of its blustering left-wing blogger. Duke Press has even publicly praised and promoted her blog activities, calling them a "mixture of snappy prose, funny postings and serious commentary." So, just for fun, let's see if we can't yuck it up a bit with Duke University. Let's take a look at some of Spaulding's "snappy" and "funny" musings:
On her blog -- among other things -- Spaulding regularly mocks both Christ and Christians by sarcastically referring to Jesus as "jeebus." She refers to Christians as both the "Am Taliban" (for American Taliban) and "bible beaters." She's doctored photos of the pope, dressing him in drag and women's makeup, apparently implying that he's a cross-dressing closet homosexual. Spaulding has likened a well-respected black New Jersey pastor to cult leader and mass murderer Jim Jones, and she has managed to ridicule both Christmas and pro-lifers in one fell swoop with a post titled, "Oh Fetus tree, Oh Fetus tree."...