On the thread of a Why did Duke's trustees enable the frame-up attempt? Anon @ 12:34 asked:
Were the trustees just following the lead of the chairman of the board of trustees?
My answer - - -
BOT chair Robert Steel's Apr. 7, 2006 public statement included the following :
The trustees of Duke University have been in active conversation with President Brodhead and the university’s senior leadership since the outset of the controversy involving the men’s lacrosse team. We appreciate the constancy of President Brodhead’s responsible leadership at a time when the facts are not clear and emotions run high. …By Apr. 7, 2006 Brodhead had, to name just a few of his questionable actions, apologized unconditionally in Duke’s name to “the first caller” who we were told at the time was “unknown,” but who had been known since Mar. 13/14, the night of the party, to Durham police and many others. (Maybe Brodhead, members of “Dick’s senior team,” and at least some trustees, do you think?)
As President Brodhead has noted, we need not -- and will not -- wait on the resolution of this case to address broader issues that range from the social culture of our students to difficult questions involving race, class and Duke’s relationships with its Durham neighbors.
We endorse the steps President Brodhead is taking to deal with both the immediate situation and these wider challenges. (emphasis added)
What’s more, by Apr. 7 Brodhead had already forced Coach Pressler’s resignation; canceled the lacrosse season; and, for reasons he and Steel have never disclosed, failed to correct a number of deliberately false and malicious statements attacking the lacrosse players made by now disbarred Mike Nifong and the Raleigh N&O.
Brodhead and Steel had failed to counter those statements, even as other Duke administrators recognized those false statements were adding to the risks of physical harm Duke’s students, the lacrosse players especially, were facing from angry, hate-filled people in the community who’d rallied to CASTRATE and GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE banners by East Campus and distributed the notorious “Vigilante” posters within sight of Brodhead’s office windows.
Do I believe that by the time of Steel’s Apr. 7 statement all Duke’s trustees (the BOT usually has 37 members) agreed with Steel’s and Brodhead’s actions?
Because, for one thing, I can't believe all Duke's trustees agreed by Apr. 7 that Brodhead and Steel were right to say nothing critical of those whose odious actions were endangering Duke's students and others?
What’s more, by Apr. 7 reasonably intelligent, fair-minded people could see “the wheels were coming off” the Duke/Durham hoax and framing.
Surely by then at least some Duke trustees recognized what was happening, don’t you agree?
I've been told by people I trust and in a position to know, that some trustees by Apr. 7 had shared with Brodhead and Steel their concerns and disagreements about what's now recognized as Duke's disgraceful "throw them under the bus" strategy.
I believe that.
But no trustee publicly expressed by Apr. 7 even a slight concern about what “Dick and his team” were doing, including their going along with Nifong’s false public statements and their agreeing to provide him with federally protected student key card information.
And no trustee has to date expressed publicly any disagreement with how Brodhead and Steel led Duke’s disgraceful response to the false accuser’s and Nifong’s lies and the endorsement of those lies by many administrators, faculty, staff and students.
In 2009 the “why not” question will get a lot more attention as the pending suits move through the court system.
Perhaps before 2009 ends some trustees will step forward and give us their answer to the question.
That said, there remains the question I raised in my post Why did Duke's trustees enable the frame-up attempt?
Why did the trustees allow Duke to go along in the first place with what was obviously a crazy hoax?
Why on March 14 or 15, 2006 or as soon thereafter as they learned about Crystal Mangum's lies, didn't the trustees say the equivalent of: "We have to tell our Durham police friends that this one is too absurd, too vicious and too public for us to go along with it?
The questions won't go away.