Local News

Duke 'in Discussions' With Unindicted Lacrosse Players

Posted September 27, 2007

— Duke University said Wednesday it hopes to reach a fair resolution with unindicted members of its 2006 men's lacrosse team who are reportedly considering filing a lawsuit.

"Duke University has been in discussions with representatives of the families for many months and is happy to continue discussions with their new representatives," according to a university statement.

Forty-six of the team's 47 players were required to give DNA samples under a non-testimonial order in March 2006 after an exotic dancer reported being raped, sexually assaulted and beaten by three white team members.

In the days and weeks that followed, the team postponed two games and was later suspended from play for the rest of the season.

News of the alleged attack also sparked days of protest at Duke and in Durham, with protesters handing out and posting fliers bearing the photos and names of the lacrosse players.

Eighty-eight Duke professors and staff also endorsed a full-page advertisement in the student newspaper, which some say they feel were convicting the lacrosse players before anyone was charged.

The lacrosse players remained relatively quiet about the case but, through their attorneys, denied the allegations. They did admit to underage drinking.

The case ultimately unfolded with the three accused teammates – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans – being cleared of charges of first-degree rape, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Duke has already settled with at least five parties. In June, Duke settled with all three men, but the terms were never disclosed.

The university also reached a financial settlement with former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler, who was forced to resign shortly after the rape allegations surfaced. Terms of that agreement were not disclosed either.

And in May, it settled a suit filed by one of the undindicted players who claimed he received a failing grade in a class because he was a member of the lacrosse team.


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  • Iron Man Sep 28, 2007


    Duke most likely violated its'own policy of due process which may leave room for a Title VII claim.

  • Iron Man Sep 28, 2007


    If nothinig more there is most likely a contract violation. There may be a defamation claim.

  • Iron Man Sep 28, 2007

    The person that needs to be suspended without pay is Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke. He violated our most basic right, "innosence until proven guilty" and the number one management principle, "support your employees in face of outside and/or inside pressure and discuss disciplinary action in private." His actions are deplorable.

  • Nancy Sep 27, 2007

    yeahright - the team IS planning to suit Duke, that's the issue of the article, the three indicted already reached a settlement with duke so now it's the other unindicted players going after Duke and it's mouthy 88 professors, Brodhead, Moneta, Burness, etc.

    Part of the lawsuit against the city stipulates that it must include changes to protocol and policies used to press charges - as it was painfully clear, the police violated their own policy for the photo ID process, not to mention ignoring evidence of innocence and altering notes (Gottlieb on the notes) to make the innocent evidence seem irrelevant in the timeline issues.

    There are many dirty hands on this case in Durham, many. And it started long before any investigation was done, I would say the first salvo came from Cpl Addison who stated their guilt on the Crimestoppers poster....it was clear they were making a case prior to investigation and pronouncing guilt publicly. It wasn't just Nifong.

  • yeahright2 Sep 27, 2007

    Nancy - I still would be interested to see what would happen if the other players sued duke. I think duke would rather settle just to make things go away rather than tarnish their rep more, even if they feel they can win.

    I am with you. I would love to see the case of the 3 players against durham go to trial. You have people who have been incorrectly incarcerated for many years not getting the kind of settlement the duke boys are asking for. And they didn't spend a single night in jail. It will be very interesting to see how all this plays out.

    Lastly, it would set a high profile precedent for any other cases involving prosecutorial misconduct. I think if they are successful we will be seeing a whole lot more lawsuits like this across the country.

  • Nancy Sep 27, 2007

    yeahright2 - The entire team is going after Duke for the manner in which they were treated, prior to any investigation was done, prior to indictments, therefore assuming their guilt as a whole.

    Now, as far as the lawsuit against the city of Durham, that is being brought by the three players falsely indicted because many, many people were complicit in the false charges and ongoing 15 month nonsense they were put through. Civil rights violations are not a minor thing, now I hope Durham fights it so it does go to a fed. civil rights trial so we can hear who did what and have names go with the violations from city manager all the way down through the various chain of command at DPD.

  • yeahright2 Sep 27, 2007

    Interesting, but what does Durham have to do with the rest of the lacrosse team. No charges were filed against them, no prosecutorial misconduct, hmmm, no case. And if memory serves me correctly, this is not the first time a school has chosen to cancel the remainder of a sports season due to the actions of a few on the team. I think it was one of those big east basketball teams that cancelled the remainder of their games due to the actions of one of the players. Essentially punishing the rest of the team for nothing. I would be very interested to see the basis for any lawsuit against duke or durham by the remaining players.

  • dougalu Sep 27, 2007

    Durham and Duke must pay up and if it's not a lot of money they won't learn their lesson...

  • casp3r Sep 27, 2007

    Wonder if " lil gouty " feells like the school yard bully now? Thanks for hijacking a story to pout like a little brat and try and show that you are better than the rest of us. Take your ball and go home please.

  • beachboater Sep 27, 2007

    Completely off the mark. Waist of time, however, is classic.

    As for the above waisted comment, check your posting. The above was the complete post. There was NOTHING Quoted by anyone. Just for the record.