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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 22, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Mike Keegan, InsideLacrosse.com:
Duke lacrosse players could gain another year of eligibility (IL) -- Those expecting to see Matt Danowski and the rest of the Duke seniors’ final collegiate performance this weekend might have to rethink things.

Inside Lacrosse has learned that a “Request for a Season of Competition Waiver” has been filed and is under review by the NCAA. If the NCAA approves the request, it will grant an extra season of eligibility to all the players who were on the Duke team in 2006, meaning Danowski and the rest of the current seniors would be eligible for one more season.

Reached by phone, Duke Sports Information Director Art Chase confirmed the report, saying he was not aware of a time to expect the NCAA to reach its decision or of the request’s potential for approval.

In order to be presented to the NCAA, the waiver request had to be approved by member schools of the Atlantic Coast Conference, not just the four participating men’s lacrosse schools. The ACC did approve the request. Now, it’s a waiting game with the NCAA.

Reached by cell phone Tuesday evening, Maryland coach Dave Cottle says he was aware of the request and that a majority of the presidents of the 12 ACC schools had approved it. But he’s not sure what the NCAA will decide...
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WRAL:
Duke Men's Lacrosse Coach in Negotiations for Extension -- Duke men's lacrosse coach John Danowski is negotiating with the school to remain as coach after his one-year deal ends, he told WRAL on Tuesday.Danowski, the father of senior All-American Matt Danowski, said he is negotiating with the university's athletic department to remain as coach. He said he does not expect a deal to be finalized before the conclusion of the team's season.
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Jason Trumpbour, spokesperson, Friends of Duke Univ:
The State of Things -- ATAF Fundraiser -- First, a reminder. Tickets remain for the Tahoe Raffle to benefit the defense fund. -- The End, the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning. -- At some point, the administration will have to come to terms with the lacrosse case. It is not going to go away. The incident will be relived countless more times as the many books about it are released. The story is not going to get any better for Duke with each retelling--indeed, quite the opposite. Hopefully, the administration will engage in some self reflection and soul searching so that, if the past cannot be changed, the future will. The University will have opportunities to do this in the near future. Settling the Dowd case fairly was a small step in the right direction. We are not going away yet and will watch events in the coming weeks.

Celebrations! -- Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending not one, but two celebrations. The first was a luncheon, hosted by our moderator for FODU members and parents in the Washington area. David Evans and his family were the guests of honor. The second was a dinner hosted in New York by the Wolcotts in honor of last year’s graduating seniors on the lacrosse team. It is a tradition to have a dinner each year for the graduating seniors, but circumstances prevented last year’s seniors from getting theirs...

Finally, congratulations to the Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams for advancing to the Final Four. That both teams could successfully overcome all of the enormous challenges presented by real life and also play lacrosse at the highest level is perhaps the final wonder of this whole saga.
discussion:
John in Carolina: Must Read at FODU
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WRAL:
Durham Mayor Wants to Honor Duke Lacrosse Team -- Durham Mayor Bill Bell says he recently contacted Duke University about a proposed ceremony to recognize the school's men's lacrosse team.

But he insists it's only for the team's play on the field and for no other reason.

"No matter what you do, people are always going to be suspect to a certain amount and wonder what your ulterior motive is," Bell said. "But I can tell you there is no ulterior motive."

The top-seeded and fourth-ranked Blue Devils play Cornell Saturday in the NCAA semi-finals. The national championship game is Monday...
related:
LS blog:
Video: Durham Mayor Bill Bell Wants To Honor Duke Lacrosse Team

discussion:

LS forum: Durham Mayor Wants to Honor Duke Lacrosse Team, for their performance on the field
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Jason Linkins, HuffingtonPost.com
Duke Lacrosse Becomes the Latest Example of the Law of Unintended Consequences -- Writing for Poynter today, Al Tompkins introduces us to the term "Duke effect" and discusses how the Duke Lacrosse botch-up is having deleterious effects on sexual assault prosecutions everywhere...

Why, it's almost as if someone put a megaphone in front of every stitch of Duke-related, sensationalized nonsense and amplified it out of all reasonable proportion!

So, media: How's that rush to judgement working out for ya?
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Ed DouglasDaniel Malloy, Lacrosse Magazine:
Douglas for President -- Ed Douglas thinks before he speaks. It's a rare quality in college students. The worldly son of South African immigrants is calm and reasoned in his opinions, even about the case that plunged his team into a legal and media tornado for more than a year. Douglas, a Duke lacrosse senior captain, looks back on it now without a hint of anger.

"Becoming this national spectacle was pretty remarkable," Douglas says. "Unfortunately for us, it didn't have anything to do with what we cared about, which was lacrosse. It would have been nice if we had gotten all that attention for playing well."

That attitude made Douglas the perfect leader for a team in turmoil after allegations of rape at a team party in March 2006 caused the season's cancellation and coach Mike Pressler's departure.
Douglas, 23, calmed his teammates and recruits, organized team pickup basketball games and acted as a mediator between the team and the lawyers. He also found the time to finish his senior thesis and graduate cum laude in biomedical engineering.

Then he returned to get a master's degree and see the crisis through...
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Forum topic(s) of note:
LS forum: Confirmation of SP's investigation -- [was Investigator Benjamin Himan a mole inside the SP's investigation?]

LS forum: Civil Suit Negotiations, Wish I were a fly on the wall!
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John in Carolina:
A DPD Outside Investigation: Questions -- It looks like there’s going to be some sort of outside investigation into the Durham Police Department’s Duke lacrosse “investigation” which led to the arrests and indictments of three clearly innocent Duke students...

What kind of charge will the Durham City Council give the investigators? What resources of money and personpower will they have?

Will statements made by DPD officers be under oath? Will they be made in public? ...
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Matt Dees, News & Observer:
Durham mayor likely to let list for review -- Third party would look at police handling of lacrosse case -- Mayor Bill Bell today should receive a recommended slate of experts who the city might hire to investigate the Durham police department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

Several council members, including Bell, backed a third-party review Monday night, though most opposed one council member's suggestion that they formally call for District Attorney Mike Nifong to resign.

Attorney General Roy Cooper last week declined Bell's request to have the State Bureau of Investigation probe the police, saying the SBI only looks into criminal matters.

Instead, Cooper said the SBI would recommend some legal minds who could assist the city.

The council plans to review the list and talk about goals for a review when they meet at 1 p.m. Thursday in City Hall...

discussion:
LS forum: Durham City Council, OUTRAGEOUS!
LS forum: Independant Review II, nuts,bolts and the "how to"
TalkLeft: Council members back call for lacrosse case investigation

KC Johnson: Council Moves Toward Inquiry
KC Johnson: Council video up

related:
Ann Forte, News 14 Carolina:
Stith calls for Nifong’s resignation -- Durham City Council member Thomas Stith is calling for the resignation of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, and he wants the City Council he sits on to do likewise...

Tamara Gibbs, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Council Considers Duke LAX Investigation -- Also at issue: How much would an investigation cost and how long it would take.

Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Council members back call for lacrosse case investigation -- A majority of the City Council appears to favor asking for an independent investigation of the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case. They'll decide the matter on Thursday.

Council members Eugene Brown, Howard Clement, Cora Cole-McFadden and Mike Woodard joined Mayor Bill Bell on Monday in saying that there's no way the city can put questions about the department's conduct to rest without having an unbiased and credible third party review it.

"We have endured 13 months of deception and lies and distortion about this case," Brown said. "And for us to not to get to the truth of the issue concerning the role of our Police Department in the lacrosse case would represent an absence of leadership and responsibility."

Bell said delaying a final decision until Thursday's previously scheduled council work session would allow him to procure a list of suggested investigators from state Attorney General Roy Cooper and State Bureau of Investigation Director Robin Pendergraft.

That list is all but ready, but Cooper and Pendergraft want to consult people they're recommending before sending it on, Bell said. He expects them to relay the names to him today...
----------
Patrick BakerKC Johnson:
Patrick Baker, City Manager -- The position of city manager dates from the Progressive Era. Progressivism was an ideologically diffuse movement; while some progressives sought to use government power to restrain big business, others essentially sought to move government further away from popular pressure, hoping that such an approach would allow leaders to achieve the public good....

If one idea unified Progressive Era thought, it was a fear that public officials would abuse their power to subvert the public good. That, alas, has been the central story of events in Durham since March 2006. I suspect it would horrify Progressive advocates of the city manager idea to see that Baker contributed to—rather than prevented—the subversion.
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Editorial, HendersonvilleNews.com:
Leave trial discovery rules alone -- The law that requires prosecutors to share their files with defense attorneys before felony trials may need some tweaking. But North Carolina legislators should reject any attempt to gut the law.

The law, called the "open-file discovery law," was passed in 2004 to ensure that the prosecution and defense have equal access to evidence. It requires prosecutors to turn over all records, reports, correspondence or interview notes, but allows withholding records that contain prosecutor's "opinions, theories, strategies or conclusions" for the trial.

Legislators in the House and Senate have filed bills to revise the law. They say they want to protect the identify of confidential informants and personal information such as Social Security numbers.

But the proposed law would also allow prosecutors to use their judgment in deciding what evident to reveal and what to withhold.

That amounts to a rollback to the way things were before the law was passed in 2004. As the recent outcome of the Duke rape case shows, that is hardly the direction the state needs to move. ...
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John Leo, NY Sun:
The Politics of News -- Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, were out on a dinner date in Knoxville, Tenn., on January 6, when they were carjacked, kidnapped, raped, tortured, sexually mutilated, and killed.

Despite the press's taste for dramatic crimes, even crimes that do not involve missing blondes in Aruba, the story got almost no publicity. Conservative bloggers, who are beginning to buzz about the case, think they know why: the couple was white and the five suspects arrested in the case are black.

The mainstream press does not like to carry stories of black mayhem and white victims. First, there is the fear of stirring up more racism among Klansmen and neo-Nazis, as the Knoxville case has started to do. More importantly, the newsroom culture tends to view black-on-white crimes as responses to black oppression, and therefore not worth reporting. Whereas similar white-on-black crime is oppression itself, and thus crucially important to put before readers and viewers.

This classic newsroom double standard pops up again and again. A recent example is the "second rape case in Durham." In this eerie reversal of the Duke lacrosse story, a girl was allegedly raped in the bathroom of a Duke fraternity house during a party. North Carolina's News & Observer said the suspect being sought was in "his late teens or early 20s, about 6 foot 1 and wearing a do-rag, a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans." However, the story failed to mention that the suspect was black, the alleged victim is white, and the fraternity, initially unnamed, is African-American.

When the suspect is not immediately apprehended, the public is usually told by police and the press to look out for someone fitting a particular description. But it does little good if reporters tell us that the man being sought has a small mole on the side of his neck and parts his hair in the middle if we don't know what color he is. Newsroom squeamishness about even mentioning blacks, gays, and women as perpetrators is quite high....
discussion:
Whistler, Say Anything blog: The Second Duke Rape Case
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Kevin Armstrong, Sports Illustrated:
Band of Blue Devils -- A year later, Duke lacrosse rallies to NCAA Final Four -- As North Carolina continued to score goal after goal, the foxhole only grew deeper for the embattled band of Duke lacrosse players on Sunday evening.

Down by as many as five goals in the first half, the Blue Devils were left with two options: plant their heads in the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium FieldTurf or start digging their way out by winning groundballs and firing shots at the North Carolina net. They chose the latter and came charging back. Trailing 8-5 at the half, the team retreated to the locker room with supreme confidence despite still facing an uphill struggle. After overcoming the firestorm last year after allegations of sexual assault were brought against three former players, which threatened the future of the program, the Blue Devils know no on-field adversity is insurmountable...
discussion:
Patrick Donohue, Loser with Socks blog:
ENOUGH! -- These kids need to stop acting like martyrs and get on with their lives as best they can. Everyone in this situation behaved poorly, Duke’s administration (AD and president) should resign because of how quick they were to throw these kids and the program under the bus. Prosecuting attorney Mike Nifong should be disbarred. But lest we forget where all of this started: with the poor behavior of the Duke lacrosse team. That’s right, kids. You can blame everyone else for what’s happened over the course of the past year but all this whole mess began when the Duke lacrosse team hired strippers for a team function. Accept that some of the blame for this is yours and just play lacrosse...

comment: Many people like LwS have missed the truth. See today's article by Jason Trumpbour, who says: "It is worth noting that, to date, the players are the only actors in the entire saga who have expressed any genuine regret for inappropriate behavior on their part and who have been willing to examine themselves with an eye toward improvement."
--------
Kevin Armstrong, Sports Illustrated:
Back to school -- Seligmann, Finnerty meet as opposing asst. coaches -- Who was that midfield attack wearing the white Duke lacrosse helmet with the matching pads and blue Under Armour shirt on Saturday afternoon?

Looking like a Blue Devil out of water, Reade Seligmann was not sharing a room 230 miles away in the Annapolis (Md.) Sheraton with a teammate from Duke. Rather, the former Blue Devil who was accused of rape and went through a year-long ordeal before the charges were dropped, was back on his high school's home field for Delbarton's annual alumni game. Just 24 hours before Duke would beat North Carolina to earn a trip back to the Final Four, Seligmann was suited up, navigating his way around beer bellies and extra padding en route to the cage.

"Yeah, number nine!" yelled his mother, Kathy, from the sidelines as her oldest son attempted a behind-the-back shot while wearing his younger brother's practice jersey. "Look at him having so much fun. It's all about lacrosse again." ...
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John in Carolina:
To Durham’s Mayor & City Council -- I’ve sent the following email to Durham's Mayor, Bill Bell(Bill.Bell@durhamnc.gov), and to Durham City Council Members...
Why did Cpl. Addison send DPD substations, media and others such a false and inflammatory statement? Was he told to do that?

The Durham CS Wanted poster, along with the anonymous “Vigilante” poster quoting Addison, circulated for at least two weeks in Durham, all the while further inflaming hate-filled people, and thereby making an already dangerous situation even more dangerous.

The situation became so dangerous that Mayor Bell, acting wisely, joined in mid-April with NC Central University Chancellor Ammons and Duke University President Brodhead to take full-page newspaper ads calling for public calm and a chance for the judicial system to work.

No one in DPD did anything to correct or disown the CS Wanted poster until April 10, the day the public would learn that DNA results Durham’s Chief ADA David Saacks had told a court would “immediately exonerate the innocent” had all come back negative.

On the morning of April 10 Addison’s DPD supervisor, Major Lee Russ, directed him to change the CS poster. You can read more about Russ’ directions and why he says he told Addison to change the poster here.

discussion:
KC Johnson: Tonight's City Council Meeting
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Rodney Foo & Sean Webby, San Jose Mercury News:
No charges in De Anza case -- DA: `INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE' TO PROSECUTE BASEBALL PLAYERS IN ALLEGED SEX ASSAULT -- After nearly three months of investigation, District Attorney Dolores Carr on Monday said there was "insufficient evidence" to pursue charges in the alleged gang rape of a high school girl at a party attended by De Anza College baseball players.

The surprise announcement devastated the 17-year-old girl and frustrated sheriff's investigators, who insist a crime occurred at the March 3 party. But the players said they were relieved.

"It's been a dark two months," said Steve Rebagliati, a De Anza infielder whose family owns the house where the party occurred.

The case's upheaval was widespread: Eight players were suspended from the team. The girl at the center of the controversy eventually moved out of the area as the investigation ground on. Officials never identified any suspects or made any arrests.

And the case, a combination of alcohol, sex and college athletes - inevitably drew comparisons to the Duke University lacrosse scandal....
--------
Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: Most of the story is still untold -- Millions of words have been written about the Duke lacrosse case. The players have been exonerated by North Carolina’s Attorney General. The casually jaded among us might wonder if there is anything left to say.

Judging by It’s Not About the Truth by Don Yaeger (with Mike Pressler) the answer is a resounding “Yes”. This sorry saga began with a flood of lies, spin, and bias. There is still a lot of truth to uncover from beneath that slimy rubble...

The book is not a first person account of the scandal and frame-up. Yaeger has done extensive shoe leather reporting; he interviewed over one hundred people to write this story. His access to Pressler and many lacrosse players enabled him to break new ground in reporting the hoax. But make no mistake, he did a lot of valuable research into all aspects of this case.

For instance, Brodhead and his loyal factotum Burness turn out to be more anti-lax and pro-Gang of 88 than they pretended to be. Burness, says Yaeger, “became famous for ‘off-the-record, not for attribution’, slamming of the players” to reporters.

Yaeger digs into the seamy world of the Platinum Club and Bunnyhole Entertainment. Samiha Khanna’s carefully crafted portrait of a shy student who was new to dancing is now thoroughly and completely discredited. On the very day that story appeared, she was videotaped dancing at the Platinum Club...

I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the new information this book offers. There is much more. In fact, I could blog for a month just on the new perspectives made possible by Yaeger’s reporting. Any one who was interested in this case will want to read it. Every Duke parent and alum should read it.

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