Local News

Duke 'in Discussions' With Unindicted Lacrosse Players

Posted September 27, 2007 12:42 p.m. EDT
Updated September 27, 2007 12:46 p.m. EDT

— 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.