Local News

Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Signs Books, Reflects on Case

Posted June 21, 2007
Updated June 22, 2007

— The former coach of the Duke lacrosse team was back in Durham Thursday to sign his recently released book about the case that garnered national media attention.

Mike Pressler signed copies of his book, “It’s Not About the Truth,” at the Regulator Bookstore. It’s already a New York Times bestseller.

He also took questions, such as “What do you want to say to [former Durham District Attorney] Mike Nifong?”

“I’m not sure I’d be saying a whole lot. I’d be doing a whole lot,” Pressler laughed.

The former coach was in his 16th season at Duke when the lacrosse case broke, and he was the only Duke official to lose his job because of it. Pressler now coaches at Bryant College, a Division II school in Rhode Island.

“I’m a Yankee now, back up there in Rhode Island. They look at North Carolina as a disgrace,” he said.

Pressler said he is still deeply disappointed at Duke President Richard Brodhead and Athletic Director Joe Alleva.

He closed his book with a heartfelt letter his teenage daughter wrote to Brodhead. Pressler said Brodhead never responded until after the book had already gone to print.

“You know, it’s tough, it’s still tough,” he said. “You know, time will tell. Time will really tell how this plays out.”


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • seriousbusiness Jun 22, 2007

    Being a native RI'er I'll comment on Pressler's comments. This lacrosse fiasco, has nothing to do with the perception of NC held by RI citizens. There's always negative stigma attached to the north/south relationship amoung natives, just as someone said there's less crime and more hospitality here, sounds like he's trying to sensationalize things to sell a few more books. What does the forum think?

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jun 22, 2007

    Nancy- I am also offended that he says "I'm a Yankee now." I feel like that makes him a traitor to imply that he agrees with the people in RI that say NC is a disgrace. He lived here for many years, made a career for himself and raised a family here as well. On top of that, he bothered to come and promote his opportunistic book, so if he has so many negative feelings than he needs to stay away. I don't resent people that move here from up north but I resent the conversations about how things are so much better there and blah, blah, blah. To them I say, there are planes, trains and buses leaving every hour on the hour and if they don't like here then peace out. I am completely open to logical suggestions about improving NC as a state. I just want people that move here to be mindful of the fact that there are many more advantages to being in NC than up north, ranging from crime to cost of living to southern hospitality.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jun 22, 2007

    Nancy- Sorry i'm juggling all of this and work. To respond to your post...
    "If something is wrong, should it not be open to being criticism? No matter where the person may have been born? And do you resent people moving here that are from north of the Mason Dixon line? Why? Moving here does not strip a person from speaking out against things that are clearly wrong. Pressler gave a view of what people in other parts of the country are saying. Unfortunately for NC, those opinions are the same the country over right now. Is everyone wrong to speak their mind?"

    I agree with you that if something is wrong it should be open to criticism. My problem is with criticisms that offer no solution. For example, I’m a Yankee now, back up there in Rhode Island. They look at North Carolina as a disgrace.” That to me is useless statement. What makes anyone in RI qualified to refer to NC as a disgrace and why is NC a disgrace? What policies held by RI can be effectively applied in NC?

  • Nancy Jun 22, 2007

    Alleva and Burness were the ones who met with Pressler and told him he was a goner, not Broadhead, he refused to meet with him, and to this day has not talked to Pressler. That tells most that there will be no serious changes in the upper echelon of Duke, sadly. As well as Duke paying out instead of addressing needed changes. Duke has paid for their errors with checks to 5 people so far, it will be interesting to see how the alumni will feel when it comes to the fund drive that comes annually. Will the alumni feel like donating when Duke has not accepted responsibility but bought their way out? I will be interested in seeing the figures.

  • seriousbusiness Jun 22, 2007

    He got a book out of the deal? It won't be the last...

  • MS Jun 22, 2007

    One would hope that after all this is said and done that the trustees of Duke University will make some high level changes and bring in new leadership at the University and in the athletic department. Just as change was required in the Durham DA's office it is also badly needed at Duke.

  • Nancy Jun 22, 2007

    Those of you that find Pressler did not parent the LAX team properly, what say you about Broadhead et al, not parenting the Frat house group who held a party complete with drugs, guns and a rape taking place last year? Who is responsible for that? If you think underage drinking by college students is a problem, what of drugs, guns and rape at a Frat house? Surely someone's head should roll on that as well? It hasn't happened. In fact, nothing was said at all.

    The players made an error in judgement, they committed the crime of underage drinking, nothing more. Hiring strippers isn't illegal, although it's not wise. The captains of the LAX team apologized to the university and publicly immediately for their bad behavior. Did it warrant what happened over the last year? Did Duke U. handle it well? Did Duke address underage drinking by the student body as a whole? No.

  • tiblet Jun 22, 2007

    Absolute...I could not agree more with your post:

    "I hope the former coach has in his book a reflection on the lack of discipline for the players previous behavior prior to the party. Maybe they would have made other choices besides throwing that drunken bash. Bet he didn't discuss that at the book signing."

    Instead he's just going to try to cash in and get his piece of the pie...while I am thankful that these three young men were not convicted of a crime they did not commit it doesn't change the fact that the lacrosse team was not getting the leadership they needed from this man...and he was held accountable for that. I say his firing was justified.

  • Nancy Jun 22, 2007

    "Plus, you could go to another state and say they need to update there laws because a case went wrong, don't blame NC, North Carolinian, blame the Justice System."

    Federal laws do not rule our local judicial system when it comes to disbarred judges or District Attorneys. Federal laws do not govern court case management decisions. It's local.

    How do you feel about the law just passed and awaiting Easley's signature for removal of disbarred District Atty's and Judges? Do you know why the law was written? Do you know what it stipulates?

    And yes, you do understand that NC right now and indeed over the last 14 months has been quite the topic across the country because of this case. Overwhelmingly, not a pretty opinion by all polls done by various agencies and media outlets.

  • TheDevil90210 Jun 22, 2007

    Unfortunately for NC, those opinions are the same the country over right now......Nancy what are you trying to say. I really dont understand that.


    People should have there own views, without them our World would be a boring one.

    By the way for the people who say our laws need to be updated. Our laws are up to date, Yes you can find laws like: No paper currency is not to be used in the State of North Carolina, but there is a Federal Law that makes all paper currency legal in every state. The reason the don't take that law out and others is because it would take more time to take the law out then just to leave it alone since something has overruled the law. There are a lot of State laws, but Federal Laws play a role, and when they play a role they play everywhere. Plus, you could go to another state and say they need to update there laws because a case went wrong, don't blame NC, North Carolinian, blame the Justice System.