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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Duke Case — Bilas Applies Full Court Press

Today's items - updated:

Jay BilasRay Gronberg, Herald-Sun: [reg. req.]
Jay Bilas calls for departures of Brodhead, Steel -- One of Duke University's most prominent alumni and former athletes has publicly called for the resignation or dismissal of the school's president and trustees chairman as penalty for their handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

Former basketball star Jay Bilas published his criticism of Duke President Richard Brodhead and Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Steel via a letter to the school's alumni magazine.

From the beginning of the lacrosse case last year, "President Brodhead abdicated his responsibility as Duke's leader to stand up for fairness and truth," wrote Bilas, who's now a commentator for EPSN and a private-practice attorney in Charlotte. "Instead, President Brodhead chose the path of political expediency."

Bilas faulted Brodhead for not speaking out last year against the procedural irregularities, lies and due-process violations that occurred as now-disgraced former District Attorney Mike Nifong was prosecuting three lacrosse players on false charges of rape.

If accountability required former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler to lose his job, it should also apply to the president, and to Steel and any other trustees "that acted in lockstep" with Brodhead, Bilas said.

The letter, though not printed in the latest issue of Duke Magazine, did appear on the publication's Web site this week.

In an interview with The Herald-Sun, Bilas said he submitted the letter to the magazine June 10, a few weeks after relaying his views to Steel. He also warned Brodhead about it during a one-on-one meeting with the president Aug. 27. [...]

LieStoppers blog:
Prominent Duke Alumni speaks out against Brodhead -- One of Duke's most prominent alumni has spoken out against the leadership of President Brodhead. Jay Bilas is a Duke Basketball legend and his career post his playing days has continued to live up to his star status when he played on Duke's 1986 National Championship Basketball Team.

Duke Basketball Report:
Belatedly, The Herald-Sun Reads Bilas’s Letter
Ray Gronberg, The Herald-Sun
Duke discussion signals lingering vulnerability -- Even with the experience of the Duke lacrosse case close at hand, a Friday panel discussion at Duke University suggested that campus leaders, lawyers, coaches and other officials would have trouble handling a similar crisis.

The discussion -- part of a two-day symposium on the lacrosse case organized by Duke's law school -- indi-cated that the key problem remains balancing a university administration's need for information with the need to keep it out of the middle of police investigations.

Campus officials who start doing their own fact-finding and interviews in such situations risk exposing themselves to charges of obstructing justice, becoming witnesses against students and undermining students' constitutional rights, lawyers on the panel agreed.

"You don't want to be in a position here where you do any investigation at all because the minute something goes wrong, it's become an obstruction problem, it's become a cover-up," said Lawrence McMichael, a Duke-trained attorney who's now a Philadelphia-based litigator. "It's just not going to look good. I'd stay out of it, from an institutional standpoint." [...]
KC Johnson:
  • Judges Panel
  • N&O: Brodhead Apologizes
  • Beard Article
  • Public Interest Panel

  • Brodhead Remarks -- [General: this was a powerful and emotional address, one that touched on several important points in an impressive fashion. Especially well-considered were the president's comments about Duke's handling of the issues of standing up for due process and ensuring that some "ill-judged" faculty remarks weren't constructed as speaking on behalf of the University.]
News & Observer:
Duke still trying to stave off lawsuit -- Duke University officials confirmed this week that they have been talking for months with attorneys for current and former lacrosse players -- other than the three who were charged with rape -- to try stave off a lawsuit.

It was not clear what would form the basis of a suit by players who did not face criminal charges. Duke officials would not discuss details of the claims. [...]
John in Carolina: Duke Suits & N&O’s “not clear”
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Pastor Davis warns the three -- If Pastor Davis advised Rodney King to seek no more than an apology and warned him that if he sought money he would be remembered as a shameless opportunist without consideration for taxpayers, I missed it.

God have mercy!

Durham, North Carolina's Frederick A. Davis, pastor of First Calvary Baptist Church, is very displeased with the planned lawsuit by the wronged Duke Three — David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty against Durham. [...]

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