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Duke Professor Strongly Criticizes Lacrosse Probe

Posted May 2, 2006
Updated January 7, 2007

— A Duke University professor blames Duke University President Richard Brodhead and athletic director Joe Alleva -- as well as men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and women's basketball coach Gayle Goestenkors -- for failing to take a leadership role immediately after allegations surfaced that three lacrosse players raped an exotic dancer at a party.

"That should have happened, and it should have been followed by a plan of action," said English professor Houston Baker said. "What actually transpired was silence."

"Duke had the prospect at this moment of crisis of becoming a national model," Baker added. He calls a recently released report detailing an investigation into the culture of the university's lacrosse team a missed opportunity.

The report, released on Monday by an ad hoc review committee, found that there are disciplinary problems, most which are related to alcohol, and that the university needs to keep stricter watch over the team.

Brodhead announced the committee on April 5, just weeks after allegations surfaced concerning the lacrosse team and concerns about what has been called unruly behavior by the team over the years.

The same day he called for the probe into the lacrosse team's culture, he also canceled the remainder of the lacrosse team's season. The report by the Duke committee recommended the team resume play next season.

Baker, commenting on the report, said it seems to be full of contradictions.

"It says they are model academic citizens -- they've been on the honor roll," Baker said. "But there as been underage drinking. There has been bad behavior."

He also said the report adds to an already deeply disappointing scenario.

"It's nothing, but it's as close as you can get to nothing," Baker said.

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