Updated — today's items:
Michael Corey, GoDuke.com:
A Separate Peace -- With great expectation they paved a path to Duke, leaving their prep school training behind, armed with superlative lacrosse talent borne of the fierce competition from whence they came.
“We are excited about this group in that we have upgraded our skill level and athleticism at each position,” then-head coach Mike Pressler said prior to their arrival on campus in the summer of 2003. “We feel strongly that we addressed our needs across the board. Several members of this group have the ability to make an immediate impact for our program.”That impact was indeed Swift, as the modest proposal was whispered that Duke might reverse its recent fortune to win a few national championships on the strength of the players in that class. It took a year of transitioning through the hellfire of a 5-8 campaign in 2004, but a year later, that collection of recruits had forged a chemistry that enabled them to lead the Blue Devils to a national runner-up finish in 2005. ...
What About Crystal Gail Mangum? -- As the curtain closes on the final act of the Duke Rape Hoax, several questions remain, but one stands out: What about Crystal Gail Mangum? Miss Mangum is the stripper—lionized as the black, female single mother, dancing to put herself through college—who was cruelly violated by the rich, white Duke Lacrosse team. It was her tale of rape and degradation that plunged three innocent young men and their families into a nightmare that may have ended legally on Tuesday, April 11, but will carry on long after in terms of damaged reputations and exhausted finances...
Crystal Gail Mangum cuts a pathetic figure, but she has nevertheless shown that being black, a stripper, a drug-taker, and a single mother with a criminal record are no impediments to bringing outrageous charges against anyone in our society. And if the alleged victim and perpetrator fit the right profiles, society itself has shown it will disregard even the most compelling evidence and let the mob rule.
AP Exclusive: Former lacrosse coach savoring Duke's run from afar -- This should be Mike Pressler's moment of triumph.
The Duke lacrosse program he spent more than a decade building into a power is two wins from its first national championship. The players he recruited, All-Americans among them, are eager for another shot at the title that eluded them two years ago by a single goal.
But Pressler is not with them..."I don't think 'pride' or 'proud' even describes how I feel about these young men and what they've accomplished in spite of what they've been through,'' Pressler said. "It's an amazing story and the story should be focused on them.
"For me, I get gratification to see them succeed at the highest level with everything they've been through. That, to me, is an amazing thing.''...
KC Johnson: Pressler Interview with AP
3 Finalists Named in Durham Police Chief Search -- Durham City Manager Patrick Baker announced Friday the three finalists in the running to replace current police chief Steve Chalmers.
Ronald Hodge, who is currently the city's deputy police chief, joined the department in 1983 as a patrol officer. Before coming to Durham, he worked with a private security force and held positions with the Virginia State Police and Virginia State University.
William Donald "Don" Green is currently the deputy police chief in Knoxville, Tennessee. Green started as a patrol officer at the South Felton Tenn. Police Department in 1977. He has been in law enforcement for 29 years.
Jose Lopez Sr. is currently assistant police chief of the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut. He joined the Hartford Police Department in 1983 as a patrolman. He also has worked as an investigator with the New Jerset Department of Law and Public Safety...
KC Johnson: DPD: Internal Candidate to Replace Chalmers?
Durham Council backs look at police -- Lacrosse case still reverberates -- City Council members confirmed on Thursday their intent to set up a third-party investigation of the Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case.
But they agreed on little else during a fractious debate in which questions flew about what such a report would achieve, who would conduct it and how much it would cost.
They plan to discuss it again June 1 after a budget work session. The council voted 6-1 Thursday on a very open-ended resolution to continue pursuing an outside inquiry. Council member Diane Catotti dissented, saying she couldn't support a proposal she called "nebulous."
The State Bureau of Investigation has recommended a list of eight former or active high-ranking police officials from across the state, some or all of whom could be involved in reviewing the Police Department's conduct in the explosive case...
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Council to probe police's handling of case -- Durham's City Council voted 6-1 Thursday to commission an independent investigation of how the Durham Police Department and District Attorney Mike Nifong handled the Duke lacrosse case.
After the vote, Police Chief Steve Chalmers said he supported the idea of a third-party investigation and had in fact sought one from the SBI, but he also criticized the City Council's handling of the issue.
Council members are "perfectly willing to listen to the rumor mill and talk to anybody and everybody other than the police chief," he told The Herald-Sun. "I would have hoped they'd have at least enough respect for this organization to come and sit down one-on-one or in twos and say, 'Help us to understand what happened here.'"
Shreya Rao, Duke Chronicle:
Council gives nod to DPD inquiry
Insert Foot -- Durham Chief of Police Steve Chalmers continued the shameful defense of his department’s participation in the Nifong/Mangum Hoax in an interview with WRAL’s Julia Lewis following yesterday’s City Council meeting. Employing the strategy of finger pointing, denial, and deception that defined his laughable report to the City Council and Mayor, Chalmers..
Chalmers’ attempt to suggest that his officers had no exculpatory evidence prior to April 17, 2006 offers the clearest indication to date that Himan and Gottlieb intentionally ignored and withheld evidence of factual innocence from the Grand Jury while pleading for indictments of innocent men on behalf of the rogue District Attorney.
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Here’s your diversity: Reuben Greenberg -- But I have a better suggestion. You can get diversity and credibility in just one man: Reuben Greenberg . For those who don’t know, Greenberg is the retired chief of the Charleston, S.C., police force...
LS forum: Here is the list from SBI & Cooper, Panel for outside investigations
LS forum: Durham City Council to Meet at 1 P.M. Today, Police Review Under Consideration
TalkLeft: Cash Micheals -- Durham Police Chief Wanted Outside Detailed Review
TalkLeft: City Council votes to Pursue Outside Investigation
LS forum: Jon Ham -- Court TV to air Nifong hearing, Bar limits news orgs to one person
Duke Lacrosse has positive spin -- Part of it isn't so hard to believe. A men's lacrosse team that made the NCAA tournament semifinals in 2005 will return there in 2007.
These things happen all the time in lacrosse, a rapidly growing but still insular sport when compared to the 336-team colossus of Division I basketball.
But this? Duke as the feel-good story of the season? It wasn't supposed to happen this quickly.
The good grades and the hours of community service didn't resonate until the state attorney general announced the dismissal of charges against three former players with terms like "innocent" and "rogue prosecutor." These were not just boilerplate remarks about insufficient evidence or mumbled references to reasonable doubt.
"We knew nothing happened," attackman Matt Danowski said about the March 2006, team party that led to rape charges, the suspension of the program and the indictment of a culture. "We knew the truth would come out...
Lacrosse defender's ups and downs -- Blue Devil is a tough Philadelphian. -- For a bit longer, Tony McDevitt is going to have to curb his appetite for a Philly staple because there's this business that must be tended to, which is helping Duke's lacrosse team win the NCAA Division I national championship.
"You can't find a good cheesesteak anywhere down here," McDevitt, a senior defender from Northeast Philadelphia, said the other day from Durham, N.C. "First of all, they call them steak and cheese, and that's the first mistake. And they put lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise on everything. Everyone wants to duplicate it, but they can't get it right."
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Just another spoiled, upper-class Duke lacrosse player
LI soldier added to Army Special Ops memorial -- The brass bell tolled 37 times _ once for each of the Special Operations soldiers who died in Iraq during the past year _ after their names were added to a memorial wall at Fort Bragg.
One soldier honored at Thursday's ceremony was Sgt. Jimmy Regan, 26, a 2002 Duke University economics graduate and lacrosse player from Manhasset, N.Y.
"It's a special day. It's very good closure for the family," said his father, James Regan. "He was raised a patriot."
The younger Regan became an Army Ranger after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The collapse of the World Trade Center towers killed many people he knew who worked in the buildings, his father said.
The younger Regan served double tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, earning a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and several other medals. He was killed by a roadside bomb on Feb. 9...
For Almost All The Marbles -- Top-seeded Duke meets top-ranked Cornell again, this time in NCAA semifinals -- It's what some of us have been waiting to see for nine weeks now.
It's what every lacrosse fan wanted to see when the NCAA tournament selection committee released its field of 16.
And ever since Cornell coach Jeff Tambroni and his players walked out of Duke's Koskinen Stadium in late March clinging to a 7-6 victory after a back-and-forth struggle with the Blue Devils, it was fair to assume that the two schools could quite possibly meet again this season.
Duke playing for more than NCAA title -- Some Blue Devils driven by investigation of lacrosse program, seek 'vindication' on field -- A team that Duke University administrators considered disbanding a year ago has a shot at its first NCAA title this weekend at M&T Bank Stadium. But men's lacrosse team members are playing for much more.
A year after now discredited rape charges against three players tarnished the program's image, some team members seem to be trying to prove to the world that it was wrong about them.
They're playing not just for a championship, but to settle a score.
"This is more than a game to these kids," said Sally Fogarty of Chevy Chase, whose son, Gibbs, is a sophomore attackman. "It really is about vindication, although it shouldn't have to be." ...
The Group of 88: Non-Endorsement "Endorsements" -- The Group of 88’s ad did not include a list of all 88 Duke faculty members who signed onto the statement. But it did specifically assert that five Duke academic departments (Romance Studies; Psychology: Social and Health Sciences; Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; Classical Studies; and Asian & African Languages & Literature) as well as 10 academic programs formally endorsed the statement.
It is hard to overstate how unusual such an endorsement is. Academic departments rarely sign onto statements that do not directly deal with departmental concerns...
John in Carolina: Duke & 88’s disaster grows
Bob Sikes, Getting Paid to Watch blog:
Group of 88 Update: They made false claims of Department endorsements
Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: KC Johnson does the MSM’s job -- A really great post on the Gang of 88’s listening ad... Several points demand attention in this latest batch of revelations.
1. It is more evidence of just how agenda-driven the Gang of 88 was. Not only were they willing to hijack the lacrosse case to serve their ends, they were also willing to lie and mislead about their departments’s support for that hijacking...
Worth rooting for -- Delaware star thrives after being falsely accused -- The cops pulled Vince Giordano away from his friend. They called him a racist, slapped handcuffs on him and told him he was going to jail. If Giordano was famous, he would've thought he was being Punk'd.
The NCAA lacrosse Final Four is set in Baltimore this weekend, and for the uninitiated, the part that probably registers is Duke's there. But the Blue Devils aren't the only ones seeking redemption. Giordano, a junior star for upstart Delaware, also suffered a gross miscarriage of justice and he's awfully easy to root for.
Last August, Giordano was out in the New Jersey shore town of Sea Isle City, about two hours south of his hometown. He and a buddy from high school were leaving a party, blissfully unaware that a few blocks away, three guys were taking a baseball bat to a man's head. The victim was a police officer from Pennsylvania who was out with two other police officers. His friends are white, he is black. The white officers weren't touched and, suddenly, Giordano was accused of a hate crime...
DA: No Duke Influence In De Anza Decision -- Embattled Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr says her decision not to press charges against members of the De Anza College baseball team for an alleged rape at a party was influenced by the evidence and not by the highly publicized case involving members of the Duke lacrosse team.
April Grolle, a De Anza student who told KTVU she had witnessed the assault, said there was no doubt in her mind that a crime had taken place.
"What we saw was rape...it was a crime," she told KTVU. "It was assault against a 17 year girl...I will forever know in my heart that is what happened."
Carr defended her decision a day after Grolle and another female student stepped forward and told KTVU they had witnessed the sexual assault.
"I really do understand the frustration of the community, the outrage about the inability to charge a person with a crime in this particular case especially given the statements the two young women made," she said. "There was insufficient evidence to charge any person with any particular crime."
But the public outcry continued to mount. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Ed Wise said his agency felt it had enough evidence...
Leslie Griffy, San Jose Mercury News:
Friend of alleged victim speaks out at protest over De Anza decision -- For 17-year-old Amanda Banducci, coming to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office Thursday was about supporting a friend. "I really wanted to be here for her," she said.
Amanda played softball with the 17-year-old high school student who sheriff's investigators said was sexually assaulted at a party when she was too drunk to consent...
LS forum: De Anza College Rape Allegation, Some Parallels Here
Abrams Still Gets On The Air... -- A funny exchange between MSNBC GM/substitute host Dan Abrams and defense attorney Mark Geragos on Tuesday's Scarborough Country:
GERAGOS: Look at the Duke lacrosse case. That was completely dictacted by the media. The media and the prosecutor in that case -- the media stomped all over the prosecutor in that case and he filed that because of the media attention.
ABRAMS: The media was one of the reasns that the Duke lacrosse case finally came out right!
GERAGOS: The media, after, after those kids were put through the ringer, the media turned around and then--
ABRAMS: Not on this prog-- Not with me! Not with me!
GERAGOS: Well Dan, that's one of the reasons you aren't on the air anymore!
Duke case: Stuart Taylor led the way -- For years Stuart Taylor covered legal issues for...The New York Times!
But, with respect to its coverage (or should I say exploitation?) of the Duke case, Mr. Taylor excoriated his former employer instead of making excuses for it or looking away...
The problem, in Mr. Taylor's words: The Times treated the Duke case as "a fable of evil, rich white men running amok and abusing poor black women." ...