Saturday, April 15, 2006

Duke lacrosse

Spent the weekend in Durham, NC. The lacrosse rape scandal is still front page news; more details are being leaked on both sides.

On the accuser front:
> The police officer call from the grocery store that revealed the exotic dancer appeared to be passed-out drunk somehow was released to the press. Oops.
> Did you know the exotic dancer led police on a high-speed chase while drunk (at double the state limit) and nearly ran an officer over 4 years ago? No? I'm sure we'll get lots more little nuggets like this one in the coming weeks.
> Rumor de jour: Apparently the accuser and her friend were paid $800.00 and at some point returned to demand more money.

On the "defendants" front (I use quotes since no charges have been filed, therefore 46 Duke lacrosse players should be labeled with that catch-all "person of interest" category:
> Durham police visited Duke dorm rooms this week and attempted to interview several players. Those players who have attorneys made some calls and zzaapp! just like that, interviews over. It's unclear whether any players have actually spoken with police without attorneys present since legal representation was first hired. It's also unclear how long the players' 'code of silence' will continue.
> While race, gender, social strata and violence feature prominently in this case, add one more thing: alcohol. Put over 40 guys in a house with 2 exotic dancers and what do you think you'll get? Trouble.
> At a recent town meeting at NC Central University, where the accuser is a student, one member of the audience claimed that the DNA tests were "fixed" and came out negative because Duke handled them. Uh, no. Those would go through the state crime lab in Raleigh.

For a different perspective, Michael Smerconish had this to say in the Daily News:
The question: The question: What drives this hostility toward athletes? Why a rush to judgment every time a ballplayer is accused of sexual indiscretions?

I say it's the revenge of the nerds. Most journalists would never be chosen for a pickup game of hoops, let alone a varsity sport. So they take perverse pleasure in bringing down the BMOC, however undeserved.

What went on in the Kobe case and at La Salle and now at Duke? The unathletic are getting their chance to vent at those who are. And they crucify these young men with gleeful speed.

While the "victims" are allowed to remain anonymous and aren't prosecuted for their tales, the athletes they accuse don't get the same treatment. These young men are the real victims, no quotation marks needed.

No winners here, just losers. -P


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