Local News

Duke Officials Schedule Lacrosse-Related News Conference

Posted June 5, 2006 7:50 a.m. EDT

— Duke University officials will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Monday to address lacrosse-related issues.

It's unclear exactly what the Duke administration will address in the news conference, however, people close to team members told WRAL that the university plans to put the lacrosse team back on the field next year.

The news comes just weeks after three players -- Dave Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J. and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y. -- were charged with rape following a woman's claim that she was sexually assaulted in March at a lacrosse team party.

Several members of the Duke administration will answer questions from the media at Monday's press conference. President Richard H. Brodhead, Duke University Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Steel, Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee member Daniel Blue, athletic director Joseph Alleva and Duke Athletic Council Chairwoman Kathleen Smith will not be available for additional comment after the news conference, the university said.

Brodhead suspended the team from play more than two months ago and later canceled the remainder of its season.

Long-time coach Mike Pressler resigned and Brodhead launched internal investigations into the culture of the program and the school's reaction to the rape allegations.

A faculty committee concluded that players on the team regularly abused alcohol and misbehaved. However, the committee also found the players to be serious students with no record of racial or sexual violence. The group recommended Duke maintain a lacrosse program, but with much stronger university oversight.

The committee recommended that there be an explicit code of conduct for all athletes and that they be held to a higher standard than other Duke students because their conduct reflects more strongly on the school.

The committee also found that there should be better communication between the student affairs and athletics departments. The committee concluded that many times poor student behavior went unchecked because the departments did not share information.