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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 30, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Matt Danowski Earns Tewaaraton TrophyGoDuke.com:
Danowski Earns Tewaaraton Trophy As Nation's Top Player -- Duke attackman Matt Danowski has been named the recipient of the 2007 Tewaaraton Trophy, an honor presented annually to the top men's lacrosse player in the nation. Danowski received the award Wednesday night at a banquet at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

"Winning an award as prestigious as the Tewaaraton Trophy is certainly very humbling," Danowski said. "This honor could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire Duke lacrosse team. I'm indebted to my coaches and teammates for their efforts and support."

Danowski was chosen from a group of five finalists that included Paul Rabil of Johns Hopkins, Frank Resetarits of Albany, Ben Rubeor of Virginia and Max Seibald of Cornell. Danowski also was a finalist for the award in 2005.

In 2007, Danowski registered an ACC single-season record 96 total points on 44 goals and 52 assists...

LS forum: Danowski Wins Tewaaraton Trophy
NCAA to allow Duke players to reclaim lost season -- The NCAA has granted Duke's request for an extra year of eligibility for its men's lacrosse players following rape allegations that led to the cancellation of much of last season.

The decision affects 33 players who were not seniors during the 2006 season, and it grants them a fifth year of eligibility regardless of whether they play at Duke or another school. The announcement Wednesday came just two days after the Blue Devils lost to Johns Hopkins by a goal in the NCAA championship game.

"These individuals were involved in an unusual circumstance that we believe warrants providing them the opportunity to complete their four years of competition," said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of student-athlete reinstatement and membership services.

Duke played just eight games last year before the university canceled what was left of the season as police investigated allegations a woman was sexually assaulted at a team party. Three players were later indicted, but the accusations were eventually debunked by North Carolina's top prosecutor, who called the trio "innocent" victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." ...
LS forum: Extra Year of Eligibility Granted, NCAA Approves Extra Year
TalkLeft: NCAA Grants Duke Players an Extra Year of Eligibility
KC Johnson: NCAA Grants Waiver -- it’s encouraging to see the NCAA do the right thing in this instance.

N&O: NCAA grants Duke lacrosse players another year
Duke alum Bob Pascal's black-and-white lacrosse adNews & Observer:
Duke alum: Give lacrosse an ovation -- A Duke alumnus purchased a full-page ad in today's USA Today to support the Duke men's lacrosse team.

Bob Pascal's black-and-white ad reads "For a team very few people stood by, how about a standing ovation?" It then lists the lacrosse team's accomplishments in the wake of a rape allegation against three players that caused Duke to cancel the last eight games of the 2006 season.

The charges against the three lacrosse players were dropped in April. All three players and former head coach Mike Pressler attended Monday's national championship game, which the Blue Devils lost 12-11 to Johns Hopkins.

Pascal was an All-America halfback in 1955 for the Blue Devils' football team, which won the Orange Bowl 34-7 over Nebraska. Pascal graduated in 1957...
LS forum: USA Today Ad Supports Duke Lacrosse
KC Johnson: Lacrosse ad
John Cole's Ballon Juice: Duke lacrosse
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Notes show lacrosse case trial was expected -- Detectives conducted the key photo session with the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case with an eye firmly on how it would play in court, according to one description, despite recent assertions by city officials that they weren't expecting her to identify suspects.

The case's supervising investigator, Durham Police Department Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, reported that he and other authorities staged and videotaped the April 4, 2006, session in a way that, in his words, would allow "potential jurors, defense attorneys, prosecutors and other judicial officials" to see for themselves how it unfolded.

City Manager Patrick Baker said Tuesday he didn't know why Gottlieb's report alluded to recording the session for potential jurors and court officials.

In the Police Department's eyes, "that was not a lineup," Police Chief Steve Chalmers said previously, echoing the explanation he and Baker adopted in a May 11 report on how authorities handled the investigation.

Baker said Tuesday that after he learned of the April 4 session, he asked for a second meeting with the detectives, the police attorney, Chalmers and Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge. This time District Attorney Mike Nifong also attended.

"I asked the question point-blank as to what we were doing, what were we trying to accomplish and why wasn't it done pursuant to [department policy]," Baker said. "And the response that I got from the district attorney was the response that we have put out, that it wasn't a lineup, that it was not looking for suspects."

The mere fact that Gottlieb had it videotaped made it different from the two failed and unrecorded ID sessions another officer, Investigator Richard Clayton, had conducted with the accuser previously, Brad Bannon, one of the lawyers who represented Evans, said Tuesday...
LS forum: Notes show lacrosse case trial was expected, The gang that couldn't lie straight
LS forum: Interesting Thoughts, Look at what the DPD isnt saying

KC Johnson: A Blow to Hodge -- There is one other important item in today’s story: at a meeting demanded by Baker sometime last spring, Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge—one of the three finalists to replace Chalmers—joined Chalmers and Mike Nifong in justifying the decision to bypass Police Department procedures in the lineup...

John in Carolina: DPD & Duke Contacts: Questions -- What’s my strongest reaction to today’s H-S story? It helps build the case for a thorough investigation by the federal government.
Durham Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge is a finalist in the search for Durham police chiefMatt Dees, News & Observer:
Police finalist faced charge -- City manager: No cause for concern -- Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge, one of three finalists for Durham police chief, faced a misdemeanor charge of child abuse 10 years ago that was dismissed in court but threatened to cost him his job.

City Manager Patrick Baker, who will make the final call in hiring a new police chief, said he's satisfied that Hodge and his family dealt with the problems that drew sheriff's deputies to his home May 4, 1997.

Hodge was accused of spanking his son, then 13, with a police-issued nightstick because he got into trouble at school, according to court documents and news reports from the time.

Hodge's daughter called 911, and sheriff's deputies arrived to find Hodge had locked himself in a room, according to news reports.

He was allowed to stay at the home that evening and was charged five days later with misdemeanor child abuse. The boy was not seriously injured...
Ray Gronberg, The Herald-Sun:
Councilman calls for audit of city police -- City Councilman Howard Clement on Tuesday called for a performance audit of the Durham Police Department, a move he said would allow the department's next chief to start work with "a clean analysis of what's going on."

Clement made the proposal during the first of a series of work sessions the council has scheduled to review City Manager Patrick Baker's 2007-08 budget request. He said a review of the department's operations is overdue and should have been done before the present chief, Steve Chalmers, took office about four years ago.

"An operation as important as our police department is, and with the many challenges it faces, we need to be better informed," Clement said, adding that regular reviews might have helped the department avoid what he termed some "embarrassing situations."

Clement's comment was an apparent allusion to the Duke lacrosse case, which produced the indictments of three men on since-discredited charges of rape. Clement has supported Mayor Bill Bell's push for an outside review of the department's handling of that case, a proposal officials have approved in principle and are scheduled to discuss in more detail on Friday.

Baker, however, was cool to Clement's suggestion of a separate performance audit. He said he'd prefer to wait until Chalmers' successor joins the payroll later this summer.

"I would want that individual to play a role in [deciding] the areas he'd like to look at, as opposed to doing something before that individual is on board," Baker said...
William L. Anderson:
Duke Lacrosse: The Players Already Were Vindicated -- A year after their athletic lives were held in limbo, the Duke University lacrosse players put together a memorable season and in the NCAA Division I championship game on Memorial Day, the Duke Blue Devils lost a hard-fought and very close game to Johns Hopkins, 12–11. I have read more than one article that claims that this season was a season of "vindication and redemption" for the team; I respectfully disagree.

The idea of "vindication and redemption" stems from the fact that a year ago, this team was vilified, accused of gang-raping a black stripper, and three members of the team were indicted for rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault. The entire set of charges was a lie, but nonetheless, the team was attacked in the press and called all sorts of things that border on indecent...

As for the Duke lacrosse season, I do not call it "redemption" or "vindication." Instead, I call it an athletic triumph. These young men had their season cut short and the university did not even decide to field a team again until June, which cost the team key recruits. Furthermore, lacrosse is both a physical and a skill sport, and these young men went almost a year without being involved in meaningful competition, and it is a wonder that these young men were able to put together a season that came up one goal short of a national championship...
Erik Boland, Newsday (NY):
An experience unlike any other for Danowskis -- As Max Quinzani's last-gasp shot to tie it went wide, Duke senior Matt Danowski dropped to his knees 10 yards from the cage.

One of the first players to offer consolation wasn't from Duke.

"I love him to death. He's my best friend," said Johns Hopkins senior Brendan Skakandi, like Danowski a Farmingdale graduate. "You want to celebrate with your team, but when you see your best friend with his head down, you hate to see him like that." ...
St. Petersburg Times:
Editorial: Duke team takes field, moves on -- Duke lacrosse players have been called a lot of things during the past 14 months: "elite," "privileged," "rapists," "hooligans" and finally "innocent." On Monday they were called runners-up as they fell to Johns Hopkins in the national title game.

Just competing in a national championship was a remarkable accomplishment for a team forced to endure the firing of its veteran coach, the cancellation of a promising season and the school suspension and character assassination of three of its players at the hands of an overzealous and unethical district attorney...

It's time for everyone, except for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong who must be held accountable at a state ethics trial next month, to move on. As for the accused players, Reade Seligmann announced Tuesday that he will enroll at Brown University where he'll play lacrosse. David Evans earned his Duke degree last year. Collin Finnerty has been invited back to Duke but he is undecided.

With the team's tournament performance, Duke lacrosse players should be remembered for something they actually did do.
KC Johnson:
The Deutsch Files -- My Cliopatria colleague Ralph Luker recently attended an academic conference at Duke, where he encountered Group of 88 member Sally Deutsch . Luker recalled that Deutschseemed to think that I should know better than to be found blogging with KC Johnson. She bristled noticeably when I said that, after all, he’d turned out to be correct about the lacrosse case. “You mean about the charges being dropped?,” she asked....

That a figure such as Deutsch still seems unwilling to admit that no rape occurred is not surprising. That, however, she could—months after the fact—continue to justify her decision to use class time to effectively present Nifong’s preferred foundation of the case against the players is depressing. It’s no wonder that the Duke administration never investigated allegations last spring of improper behavior by professors toward lacrosse players.
William Jockusch, Green Eggs & Bacon blog:
Hitting Duke where it hurts -- The disgraceful actions of many Duke faculty, and even of the Dean of Social Sciences at Duke, have been documented all over the place. Even when it was obvious to any sensible observer that the players were innocent, the guilty faculty typically refused to apologize. This behavior continues even today, after the North Carolina Attorney General said in no uncertain terms that the players were innocent. Yet Duke has failed to take any public action against the guilty faculty. I believe that the actions of these faculty demonstrate such a deep lack of fundamental fairness that the proper solution is to fire them, tenure or no tenure.

Duke, however, has taken no action against even one of the guilty faculty. This is even true in cases where the faculty in question appear to also be guilty of other conduct which ought to be sufficient grounds for dismissal.

Duke needs a wake up call. And the way to give them one is to get nasty. For this reason, I am going to start a letter-writing campaign to Duke's donors. I will ask them to stop giving money to Duke...
Joe Neff - News & Observer reporterJohn in Carolina:
N&O’s Neff Misspeaks (Post 2) -- what follows in italics is a very accurate rendering of what you [Joe Neff] said:
One of the things that I think really helped our paper throughout this story is we have a really strict policy against the use of anonymous sources and we did not use a single anonymous source or unnamed source in our – uh – I think as of now we’ve written 541 articles by – with at least 19 different bylines on it and what that (Neff pauses)

It was really frustrating in the initial couple of weeks when it was so competitive and no other newspaper and no other radio or TV station felt compelled to – they were going with 'sources close to the prosecution' or 'we have learned' or 'Nightline has found out' and they would just put stuff out there.

Now some of it we knew because we were told off the record, but we won’t use it, but some of it was absolute nonsense –ah – ah – so it allowed us to get beat on some very small things, but in general by not using anonymous sources, we were really saved – ah – from putting some –ah- some bad stuff in the paper.” (Moderator moves to another matter)
Joe, if you find what you think are errors in what I’ve told JinC readers you said, please call them to my attention so I can review them, and make whatever corrections are necessary...
cousin Jakki aka Clyde Youngcomment: It looks like the definition of "anonymous sources" will be what Mr. Neff will quibble over. Cousin "Jakki" a/k/a Clyde Yancey aka Clyde Young is not an anonymous source? Please explain that one Mr. Neff. Cousin "Jakki" does not even share the same last name as Crystal Mangum. Even Ruth Sheehan had a chuckle over this bizzare spokesperson for Ms. Mangum.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, News & Observer:
Accuser and her family value support (April 21, 2006) -- The mother of the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case said Thursday that it has been a rough few days for the family since defense lawyers began publicly contesting the allegations. But she said an outpouring of support from people far and near has helped.

The News & Observer is not naming the accuser or her family members because it is the paper's policy not to identify people listed as victims of sexual assault on police reports...

The accuser's cousin said the accuser has moved from her home and is staying at a different location every night.

She [male who uses the names Jakki O'Knight & Clyde Yancey] said her cousin considered not pursuing the case. "She was at the point where she felt like she just wanted to make it go away," she said. "But she just realized, once she had a minute to get herself together, that she has to do this. She doesn't want to be a victim any longer."

Paul, PowerLine blog:
Lacrosse's glass ceiling -- As the [Washington] Post also notes, however, the game is not expanding at the college level. Despite high school talent that is probably at least twice as deep as it was 10 or 20 years ago, the number of college men's lacrosse program has remained basically the same.

The Post doesn't explore the reasons for this, but Title IX must be the main culprit. That's the law which, as interpreted, basically requires colleges to enroll as many women in intercollegiate athletics as men regardless of comparative interest. It causes colleges to eliminate programs in which many students would like to participate, for example men's wrestling and tennis, in favor women's programs (say, a bowling team) for which interest is minimal and must be ginned up.

In this environment, it's no wonder that colleges aren't starting men's lacrosse programs, which require (as I understand it) at least three dozen players. Doing so seems like a sure-fire way to encounter Title IX compliance issues...
News & Observer:
Freedom after 27 years in prison -- Raymond Lee Parker, who went behind bars 27 years ago for robbing a woman of $173 at a Sunbeam bakery, is a free man.

Parker, his family and a former Durham prosecutor today celebrated a long-awaited freedom.

Parker was sentenced under an old system, and his punishment is harsher than some convicts now receive for killing somebody.

[Mike] Nifong, who prosecuted the case, argued against release, saying putting aside the sentence would open the door for others to argue for changes, too...
comment: Don't forget that Mike Nifong said his hero is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird. Atticus would be proud.
LieStoppers blog:
The Credible Accuser Hoax Within A Hoax -- Culminating with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Declaration of Innocence on April 11, 2007, the illusions that instigated and propelled the Nifong/Mangum Hoax were gradually exposed and debunked over the course of thirteen months. We have referred to many of these enabling illusions as Hoaxes within the Hoax. Among the Hoaxes within the Hoax that fueled the endurance of the larger lie, LieStoppers previously described the 911 Hoax, the Wall of Silence Hoax, the Fake Name Hoax, and similar fallacies created and promoted in concert by the Durham County District Attorney's Office and the Durham Police Department. In a futile effort to rationalize his department's questionable performance throughout the Hoax saga, and his investigators' misleading grand jury testimony in particular, Steve Chalmers, Durham's suddenly visible Chief of Police, now seems strangely intent on resurrecting the most ridiculous, and transparently false, Hoax within a Hoax to date: the Credible Accuser Hoax...
Sportz Assassin, AOLsportsblog:
John Feinstein Unloads On Duke AD -- Duke alum and best selling author John Feinstein took another stab at Joe Alleva, the current AD at Duke. Over the years, Feinstein has had no problem ripping into Alleva ... and has really had a platform to voice his displeasure during this whole lacrosse fiasco...
John Feinstein, Washington Post:
All Is Not Well And Good With Duke Athletics (5/28) -- So the Duke lacrosse team's saga will not be a Disney movie after all.

You know the story: Unfairly accused group of athletes finds redemption by coming back from a season cancelled to win a national championship. Sadly for the movie-makers, Duke came up short in Monday's national championship game, losing to Johns Hopkins in the final for the second time in three years...

It is almost pointless to argue with the Duke loyalists who have bought into the notion that the lacrosse players were guilty of nothing more than, "boys being boys," (and it should be noted here that I am the holder of a Duke degree)...

Enough apologizing and enough martyrdom. It was a known fact on the Duke campus for years that the lacrosse team overdid it when it came to partying. There was a written report in 2004 that said just that and Tallman Trask, the university vice president allegedly overseeing the athletic department, and Joe Alleva, allegedly the athletic director, did absolutely nothing about it. Alleva fired Mike Pressler, the lacrosse coach, because a scapegoat was needed in the immediate aftermath of the incident and Pressler took the hit.

LS forum: Feinstein's Same Old Song
John Swartz, Sun-Journal (NC):
Duke's scandal gave our state a new sport -- About 14 months ago, lightning struck on the campus of Duke University. And when that happened, many of us learned a new word — lacrosse.

Most people already knew about lacrosse. I mean, they knew it existed … that’s about it.

Now, before you go all “I’m from North Carolina, and I’ve been following lacrosse for years” on me, sure, I realize there are many people who were very familiar with the sport prior to Duke’s story being plastered all over news networks. ..
Ethical Durham:
Ethical Durham fund raiser (5/28) -- Congratulations to the winner of the Ethical Durham Raffle! The winning raffle number is 0305.

The winner has been contacted.

There were 663 tickets sold. Thanks to everyone for participating.
Friends of Duke University: Fundraiser - 10 days left to win a Chevy Tahoe -- The raffle is intended to help raise much needed funds for the lacrosse case defense fund. If you did not purchase a ticket yet, please consider doing so soon. The odds of winning a Chevy Tahoe has never been so good -- 1 in 1000! The drawing will take place on Monday, May 28 at 4pm, at the Men's Lacrosse Championship in Baltimore, Maryland. You do not have to be there to win...

LS forum: Fundraiser for legal expenses, Tahoe to be raffled
Dantzler Smith, The Stormy Present:
International Philosophy, Hockey, and Duke Lacrosse -- Well where are Jackson and Sharpton to come out and apologize to the kids they accused of rape? ...

Those kids are clearly not model citizens and if I were President of Duke I'd do everything in my power to kept that team's activities under my thumb. Moreover, the division between the privileged and the forsaken in this country is real and needs to be addressed. However, these situations can not be approached with hypocrisy. So until Jackson and Sharpton apologize to the Duke kids, and until they rebuke Nifong, I will not take them seriously on issues of importance because I cannot believe that they are truly dedicated to solutions instead of appearances and political maneuvering.
Bill Bickel, AllInfoAboutCrime blog:
Prosecuting the Prosecutors (5/28) -- This is all no less serious than the alleged misdeeds of Durham (North Carolina) District Attorney Mike Nifong, the man whose self-destructive obsession with prosecuting three former Duke University lacrosse players for rape could lead to his own disbarment (charges have been dropped against the defendants, but Nifong faces a hearing before the North Carolina Bar next month).

Both of these cases fall into the What the hell was he thinking? category.

In the Duke case, here's what you have to wonder about:

Putting aside for a moment the concepts of right and wrong, fairness, and justice...

There was never any evidence that the defendants raped Crystal Mangum, and Nifong knew this. The case hinged on the testimony of Mangum who was semi-coherent at best when she made her claim and who changed her story several times; Nifong knew this as well. He probably knew that her identification of the three defendants by photo lineup was tainted as well.

So how could he rationally have believed there was a possibility of a conviction (rather than the whole case collapsing around him, which it did)? ...

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia