Monday, January 07, 2008

Duke’s Simple Questions Problems

This is a 1, 2, 3 post.

1 – Some simple questions I asked in a post, "Call home immediately" , concerning Duke’s actions and inactions in response to the lies Crystal Mangum told and the police investigations her lies launched.

2 – A response to those simple questions by Red Mountain, who’s commented often, typically with: 1) comments critical of a complaint filing by attorney Bob Eckstrand on behalf of three unindicted Duke lacrosse players; and 2) offering generally benign explanations for Duke's and its leadership's actions and inactions

3 – A few comments.

1 – The simple questions from "Call home immediately" :

Let's put aside for now questions of whether what's alleged in the portion of the [complaint filing] cited above is true in part or whole.

Let's allow that there are confidentiality provisions regarding to whom and what university administrators may disclose concerning a student.

Was there anything that prevented Duke administrators when they first learned DUPD and DPD were investigating crimes alleged to have occurred at a party attended by certain Duke students from advising those student to "call home immediately?"

Was there anything that prevented Duke administrators from sending emails to the students concerned urging them to call their parents to let them know what was happening?

Was there anything that prevented Duke administrators from saying to eighteen and nineteen year-old students that the administrators and the students could jointly call parents to make sure that anything the parents thought should be done in the students' interests was being done?

In the more than twenty-one months since the night of March 13/14 has Duke ever claimed it did some or all of what I've asked here?

2 – Red Mountain’s comment in its entirety (on this thread) :

I also think this is an excellent post. The giving of legal advice (and bad advice at that), the dorm search, and the giving away of the key card info are hard to justify. I have stated before that Duke went way overboard in terms of its cooperation with the Durham police.

Was that due to an interest in getting the case resolved quickly or due to a conspiracy by the Duke consortium to frame the players?

3- A few comments:

In another post here I noted what would happen if Red Mountain merely dropped the “or” out of the compound sentence with the two questions he asked.

Just by dropping out the “or” RM would then be asking concerning Duke going “overboard [in] its cooperation with the Durham police" :

Was that due to an interest in getting the case resolved quickly due to a conspiracy by the Duke consortium to frame the players?
Now we can be pretty sure RM didn’t mean to ask that question, but just dropping the “or” out of what he actually asked illustrates how very careful you have to be these day when you try to defend or excuse Duke’s actions and inactions in response to Mangum’s lies and what followed from them.

And here’s something else: Go back and read those four simple questions in Section 2.

All four of them can only be correctly answered with the same two-letter word: “No.”

When such simple questions can only be answered “No,” it’s no wonder BOT chair Bob Steel and president Richard Brodhead want us all to join MoveOn. Duke.

Will things get “uglier and Dukier?”

Who doesn't know the answer to that simple question?


RedMountain said...

You are arguing a point I didn't make. I agree with your post and I agree that the answers are No as well. Once I accept the fact that Duke did many things wrong in it's handling of this situation, the next question becomes; Why? The lawsuit implies an evil and malicious intent on the part of the Duke administration to railroad the Lacrosse players. That is the answer to my question the lawsuit gives, and it seems that you agree with that.

I believe the intent was to resolve the case as quickly as possible because Duke believed that the accusations were false and they felt the sooner the investigation was completed the sooner it would be resolved in the favor of the players. That in no way justifies the actions that Duke took that were potentially harmful to the players. Duke made some major mistakes and I even pointed out a few other mistakes I believe are going to be hard for Duke to justify. If this lawsuit goes that far and a jury is at the point that it feels Duke is liable for these errors, the ammount of the award could hinge on the jury answer to this question.

Anonymous said...


The question of intent on the part of Duke is easily answered.

When did Bob Steel direct Brodhead to finally meet with the parents of the exonerated players to offer a sincere apology for the actions of Duke students, professors and administration?

Answer: To this day, he never has.

That pretty much settles the Duke intent issue.


resistance said...

"Steel told me that it did not matter if they were convicted because all the problems with the case would be sorted out on appeal. That is not the way the appeal process works and I told him that, but that was still his plan."

I don't read it that way. I read it that Duke was at best indifferent that the accusations were false. They failed to support due process. Brodhead turned "innocent until proven guilty" on its head. As a senior member of Duke's CMT, this can and must be taken as reflective of Duke's position. He did not "misspeak" himself.

In light of the "zero tolerance" policy which has been documented - one of student intimidation and prejudicial treatment of Duke students - your charitable reading is wholly unsupported.

But then we are accustomed to that from people from Rouge Mont(ain).

yours cordially