Local News

Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Slams Nifong

Posted June 21, 2007

— Former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler said the investigation into former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's handling of the Duke lacrosse case should continue. 

"He maliciously pursued this case, knowing that those boys were innocent, for his own ambitions and political gain," Pressler said.

Pressler, who co-wrote a book about the Duke lacrosse case, "It's Not About the Truth," was pressured to resign after the rape allegations surfaced. He now coaches at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

Pressler said he was surprised to hear that Nifong wanted to remain in office until next month despite being disbarred. Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson later suspended Nifong with pay until he resigns, citing concern that the embattled prosecutor's presence could cause legal problems with cases.

"I don't understand why that's happening. I can't believe it hasn't been done immediately. I thought the minute he was disbarred, his career as a DA was over," Pressler said.

The North Carolina State Bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission found that Nifong broke more than two dozen rules of professional conduct during his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case. It ordered his disbarrment, but that automatically takes 30 days to take effect.

Pressler said he has several questions to ask the former Durham prosecutor if they were to meet face-to-face.

"Why did you do this? You could have put the brakes on this numerous times. Why did put all of those boys and their families through the wringer here for your own ambition, for your own job?" Pressler said. "I've said it before, 'Hey Mike, what goes around comes around, and you are going to get yours for the mistakes that were made.'"

Pressler will be at the Regulator Bookshop at 720 Ninth Street in Durham at 7 p.m. Thursday to sign copies of his book.


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  • Boogalooboy Jun 22, 2007

    Hey TGC, wake up and smell the coffee. Pressler had a history of strong handing his teams regarding misbehavior.
    This happened on spring break and he wasn't aware until later....by the way, do you assume that the chair of the history,biology and any other dept should be held accountable for all the students that are majoring in their field... I think not.

    Having strippers, drinking under age, etc ain't that cool but it ain't rape. If we suspended every kid in every college or university that drank under age we would not have many schools of higher learning in business. As sad as that may be.

  • elliemae Jun 22, 2007

    I am sooooo tired of this story!!!!!!

  • Bill of Rights Jun 21, 2007

    tgcmisc: I wish you could have been at Mike Pressler's book signing in Durham tonight. With grace and elegance he talk about the trials and tribulations this case brought on his own family, and the families of his players.

    I agree that there was some tremendously bad judgement exercised that night, but I'm not sure any reasonable person would think that the punishment fit the crime. And I don't think any amount of money in the world would make that kind of pain and agony worthwhile.

    I responded to your post at greater length on my blog ... feel free to comment there if you wish. http://www.mikehelms.org/blog

  • tgcmisc Jun 21, 2007

    I wish the media would ask "Coach" some really tough questions...

    Why did YOU not know that your team was "out of control"?

    Why did YOU not know that 1/3 of the squad had been arrested?

    What do you think your responsibility was/is to the parents, the team and the university? Why did you NOT enforce the University's Code of Conduct and be more of a disciplinarian?

    Coach has received a GENEROUS $ettlement. He has a book deal...maybe he wants a MOVIE...

    He needs to grow up and be accountable for his actions.

    If he had maintained PROPER control of his team, then the drinking, parties, strippers, arrests, etc. MIGHT not have happened.

    I am GLAD that the charges were dropped. I am GLAD that Mr. Nifong will be "punished" for his miss deeds...

    BUT, I think that the University should (and they will NOT) learn that SOMEONE has a responsibility to the parents to make sure that student athletes are being properly supervised.

  • Nancy Jun 21, 2007

    You do understand that there are criminal charges Nifong will be facing soon, don't you? Lying to material facts to a judge, obstruction of justice in witholding evidence. Yes, he will be facing criminal charges so he will not be able, under any circumstances, be able to profit from his fiasco. The only thing that can't be touched is his pension cannot be attached, his house I'm sure is also in his wife's name.

  • scalesofjustice Jun 21, 2007

    I don't think he'll be preempted, he has already been disbarred and it doesn't look like he'll be charged criminally (I think the son of sam rule only applies to criminal charges). He'll just right the book and have all of the proceeds go to his son....another little loophole that or justice system provides us with...

  • Nancy Jun 21, 2007

    There will be no apologies forthcoming from the NBPP who issued death threats in the courtroom, from Jesse or Al or any other race baiter, they used this to forward their victim mentality at the expense of all involved. It's what they do, facts are not relevant, therefore requires no apology.

  • Bill of Rights Jun 21, 2007

    Mike Ihrie: How nice that you think people with a differing opinion should be run out of town. Thankfully, liberals aren't of the mind that stupid, narrow-minded conservatives should be run out of town. After all, it's not a crime to be stupid, right?

  • mihrie Jun 21, 2007

    Has anybody seen Jessie Jackson, the Rev. Al Racist Sharpton, the Black Panthers, and of course the 88 liberal racist Duke Professors who believe you are guilty until proven innocent (if you happen to be white)? Liberal idiots are no better than conservative idiots are no better than any other idiot. Do any of those previously mentioned people (or whatever they are) have the guts and courage to publicly apologize to those who were wrongly accused? Where is their public petition or advertisment now (I'm speaking to you, oh mighty Group of 88)?

    May God have Mercy on all of us. But, especially may he have mercy on any of us that may one day find ourselves forced to live by the morals and rules of the likes of the Group of 88, or Al Sharpton, or Jessie Jackson, or the Black Panthers.

    These people should be run out of town forcefully. They have condemned themselves by their own liberal, racist stupidity.

    Mike Ihrie

  • Nancy Jun 21, 2007

    I expect Nifong will be preempted from benefitting financially from his self made fiasco. A simple injunction, judicial relief not unlike the families of Ron Goldman and OJ's murdered wife received through civil action. Mike will have to find another way to make money to pay off civil liabilities.