Thursday, May 15, 2008

Duke's Lax '06 Cancellation: What Safety Concerns?

This past Sunday I published NY Times spins Duke Lax eligibility. A Times news story included this:

Duke canceled its 2006 season after eight games in the wake of rape and sexual assault accusations against three players. The charges were later dropped. Kennedy, an associate athletic director, wrote about the campus and news media firestorms, detailing the death threats, angry protests and safety concerns that forced the university to cancel the season.
I followed that Times reporting with some commentary which included this:
...I don’t know whether The Times' saying “safety concerns” were a factor “that forced the university to cancel the season” is spin because I don’t know whether or not Chris Kennedy made that claim to the N.C.A.A.

If you know, please let me know and I’ll follow-up.
I then went on to other parts of the Times' story which were clearly spin.

A few days ago I received a comment from JinC Regular BN who's closely followed the Duke Hoax, frame-up attempt and the ongoing cover-up of it. BN's citations and claims have checked out in the past, and the ones I'm about to post do as well.

So here's BN's comments. I hope you comment. I plan to post further tomorrow on the question of whether concerns for the players safety was a factor which determined Duke's decision to cancel the remainer of the 2006 lacrosse season.

BN begins - - -

I've read/reread the statements, news releases etc. issued by Brodhead and other Duke officials in the Spring of 2006 which included the reasons for canceling the lacrosse season.

Concern for the safety of the players was never mentioned.

In fact, Duke's inaction and silence showed a complete lack of concern for the players' safety and well being when

-- campus protesters carried castrate banners and branded the players rapists. Members of Duke's faculty publicly thanked these protesters.

-- vigilante posters with the players' pictures were distributed around campus

-- players and the coach received threatening e-mails

-- the Black Panthers demonstrated against the players at campus entrances and made death threats to Reade inside and outside the Durham courtroom

-- players were harassed and persecuted in classrooms by certain Duke professors.

The first time that I read anything from Duke that mentioned safety as a reason for canceling the season was in the revisionist history narrative included on Duke's revised website dedicated to the lacrosse incident.

This website was established in May, 2007 after the AG declared the players innocent.



Jim in San Diego said...

Whatever was or was not said, it is highly likely there were safety concerns at the time the season was cancelled.

Of course, the safety of the players had been partly compromised by the vigilante activities of their own faculty, and the cowardice of the administration.

Yet, there were genuine safety concerns. The case had attracted people who were organized and aggressively hostile (the New Black Panthers), and merely those who were confused and dangerous.

So, yes, safety was a major issue in March of 2006.

Without having been on the ground in Durham, as a parent I would have been concerned with the safety of my child under these circumstances.

One would think, however, it was not necessary to cancel the entire season. Not unless you presumed the players were guilty.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

Certainly the players' families and friends were very concerned with the players' safety. For example, I know that a number of lacrosse parents made sure that their sons were nowhere near Durham when the Black Panthers staged their demonstrations.

My point is that Duke never publicly expressed concern for the players' safety neither with its actions nor statements. Duke did little or nothing to protect the players.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy it. The season was canceled as a punishment, pure and simple. If anything, Brodhead canceled the season for his own protection-to appease the mob.
The players were in just as much danger walking around campus as they were playing lacrosse. If there had been concern for the players' safety, the players would have been sent home until the storm passed. The irony of the situation is that the players were probably safest when they were practicing and playing lacrosse.

Brant Jones

Anonymous said...

I called Larry Moneta and told him I was concerned about my son's safety after he sent out an email concerning possible "drive by shootings" of lacrosse players. His response was, "If you're so concerned, come pick him up."......such empathy from a top level administrator. Our son and most of the other boys left campus every weekend as we were scared and they were scared to stay at Duke.