Duke Professor Wants Lacrosse Team To Be Disbanded
Posted April 3, 2006 9:02 a.m. EDT
Updated January 7, 2007 1:34 p.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — People in the community have shown their displeasure with how Duke has handled rape accusations against the lacrosse team.
Now members of the university faculty are speaking out as well, with an English professor calling the lacrosse team privileged white males and demanding the team be disbanded.
President Richard Brodhead says the university became aware of the allegations shortly after the night of the party on March 13.
The English professor wrote an open letter criticizing the slow response of the administration. claiming that they have known for months and even years about the lacrosse team's bad reputation.
"It seems to me to wait until the 28th to have a major press conference by leaders of this university is appalling," said Dr. Houston Baker. "The slowness of response and the feeling among a lot of faculty that the men's lacrosse team has long been a unit of bad actors and it's been known by university leaders and still it's escalated into a national crisis and local disaster is frustrating."
Baker would like to see the current men's lacrosse team disbanded and the university put a blue ribbon committee in place to mandate how to handle these types of situations. Baker also wants a new lacrosse team formed -- one with certain standards and expectations set out by the university.
In his letter, Baker referred to the lacrosse team as privileged white male athletes.
Late Monday afternoon, the university's provost responded with an open letter of his own, saying he is disappointed and appalled by Baker's reaction.
He reiterated the university's position that the school will not rush to judgment and feels it has responded appropriately.