Unless you're Mike Nifong or a Duke Professor, the lacrosse team at Duke isn't the reason most of us hate Duke. Until recently I couldn't really put my finger on the exact reason why I hated Duke other than they're really good in basketball. Maybe it's just because I could never get in, or that I'm a Terps fan. It could be because their student body seems to be flat out arrogant. Or maybe its Coach K's whinny little condescending voice, usually demonstrated while he's crushing my team.
Now the Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski is a tough guy not to like. He was the perfect guy to lead Duke lacrosse back after being wrongly persecuted. And I've always admired the physical style of the Duke lacrosse (Pressler) program. All of us (except for Blue Jay fans) were pulling for them last year, even if it hurt, because they were going through their horrible ordeal. That was last year.
Do I think former Duke Coach Pressler got a raw deal? Sure, but thankfully he has landed on his feet and now should be deservedly set for life by book deals (movie?) and law suits. Even his Alma Mater W&L shamefully bought in to the lies and media hype by and refusing to support him when their coaching position was open. Am I happy he's doing OK now? Yes. But I am over that. Let's start the healing - the recovery for the rest of us.
And do I think the Duke players were railroaded? Of course I do. From the first time I heard of the incident I knew they were innocent. Persecutor (not a spelling error) Nifong should have seen it but was only worried about using this fabrication to get re-elected and save his pension. He seriously underestimated the ruthlessness of the American national media and the resolve and resources of some strong families. The kids are the true victims and learned the harsh life lesson that the press is an amoral whore and that liberals are the real bigots. But that said, Can we just get back to hating Duke.
I guess because they're lacrosse players and part of our fraternity, we felt for them in their suffering. But leave it to Duke to take advantage of that. Another year of eligibility? What's with that? It was Duke itself, not the NCAA, that jumped the gun and bought into the lies without any due diligence and cancelled their own season after playing 7 games. Do I feel sorry for what the affected players had to endure? Of course. Were they the victims of a spineless administration and agenda driven professors? Obviously. But Iím sure another year of eligibility doesnít begin to make them whole again. This ruling by the NCAA is flat out unfair to all the other programs and to every athlete playing college lacrosse today.
So not only am I back as a Duke Hater, but the administration and faculty have given me reason to hate Duke anew. And it just feels right.
February 12, 2007
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