News| Duke Rape Case | Duke Reinstates Lacrosse Team

Published February 11, 2008

Posted June 6, 2006 – The Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, dismantled after three players were accused of raping an exotic dancer, was reinstated Monday, campus President Richard Brodhead announced.

"I am, I know, taking a risk in reinstating men's lacrosse," Brodhead said in a statement. "The reinstatement is inevitably probationary."

Brodhead said that he and the school's athletics committee felt that the team should be able to move past the scandal and allowed to play for the 2007 season.  But this time, he says, the players would be closely monitored and under strict rules, calling the decision a "gamble."

"It seems to me if you say, 'I'm sorry, I'll never trust these people until the end of time,' that's one idea," he said. “I think it's a rather unrealistic and inhumane idea.”

Brodhead canceled the team's season on March 28 and accepted the resignation of Coach Mike Pressler after a 27-year-old North Carolina Central University student, who had been hired to perform at a March 13 team party, told police several White members of the squad gang-raped and beat her while calling her racial slurs.

Team captain David Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., were charged with first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping, stemming from the woman's allegations.

Evans previously said his lawyers had given him a polygraph test and added Seligmann and Finnerty were innocent of all charges.

Defense lawyers, insisting the players are innocent, have cited DNA tests in explaining that there was no conclusive match between any of the team's White players and the accuser. One of the team's 47 players is Black. The alleged victim said he was not one of those who raped her.

Do you think it's too soon for Duke to reinstate the team?  Click “Discuss Now” to post your comment.

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Written by BET-Staff

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