Local News

Ivy League School Recruiting Duke Lacrosse Defendant

Posted February 21, 2007 5:34 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2007 8:20 a.m. EST

— Duke lacrosse defendant Reade Seligmann could be headed to play in the Ivy League.

Brown University Sports Information Director Chris Humm confirmed Wednesday that the school is trying to recruit the 6-foot-1 midfielder for its men's lacrosse team.

He said he was barred by NCAA regulations from commenting further.

Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., was suspended last spring from Duke after he was indicted on charges of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault stemming from an off-campus lacrosse team party.

Seligmann graduated from the Delbarton School, a Roman Catholic school in Morristown, N.J. He won three state lacrosse titles while he attended the school but saw limited playing time after arriving at Duke. There, he played only in six games and scored one goal before Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the season in April.

In January, Duke invited Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, 20, a second player charged in the case, to return as students in good standing. Each would be eligible to return to the lacrosse team if he decided to return.

The move came after Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charge against Seligmann, Finnerty and David, because the accuser wavered in key details about the case.

Evans, 23, graduated from the university in May.

James Cooney III, an attorney for Seligmann, said in January that his client was considering his options but at the moment, was focused on the case, in which an exotic dancer initially told police she was gang-raped, sodomized and beaten in a bathroom of a house where she had gone to perform.

Those allegations prompted a frenzy of media attention on Duke and the city of Durham, and the case has put attention on questions of race, class and the privileged status of college athletes.

Lurid details about the investigation prompted Brodhead to first suspend the highly ranked team -- it had appeared in the NCAA championship game in 2005 -- and then cancel the season. Longtime coach Mike Pressler resigned amid growing criticism of the program and the players' behavior, which included alcohol-related criminal charges.

After an internal investigation, the school reinstated the program in June. The following month, Duke hired John Danowski from Hofstra to coach the Blue Devils.

The team returns to the lacrosse field on Saturday for its first match since then. University officials expect a large turnout and a heavy media presence for the game against Dartmouth.

Extra campus and city police officers will patrol the season opener.