The Friday 3:30pm EST of Outside The Lines did a feature on the Duke lacrosse team and how the players affected by the rape allegations in 2006 recieved and extra year of eligibility and most of them are playing for Duke now as fifth-year seniors (McDevitt, O’Hara, Loftus, Danowski) . The show summed up the basic argument. One side feels that Duke has too large of an advantage for Duke, and if they win the NCAA Championship this year it will be tainted. The other side feels that the Duke players were screwed over something that wasn’t in their control, and were lambasted by an entire nation for being rapists, which turned out to be false.
Trudie’s Take-I am a Duke lacrosse fan, mostly because I feel they were getting horrible treatment by almost everyone in America who wasn’t involved with lacrosse in 2006. Not even Duke University helped out its own students. I feel this is the reason why these guys deserve another year to play. I understand that other teams are at a disadvantage, but its not that big of an advantage. One thing they should do is take all the records from the 2006 games to even things out statistically. Other than that, after this year I think things will even out. Duke did lose a lot of recruits in 2006 so that will hurt them, plus I don’t think they will have as many great players the next few years that they have this year. They may still have Greer for an extra season, but the other players aren’t on extra eligibility.
Three Personal Incidents-I can relate to what happened at Duke in 2006 in a small way when I was a student at Goucher, as I am sure a lot of older lacrosse vets can relate to having their colleges sell them out.
One time was just after the Matthew Shepard killing in Wyoming. Someone wrote a homophobic message on the door in one of the dorm rooms where a gay student lived. The whole school was in uproar and they made our coach grill us about appropriate behavior on campus. Turned out it was one of the gay resident’s friends, who also happened to be gay. Just a little gay humor gone awry.
Another incident happened after the dance program was annoyed that the lacrosse team kept breaking the windows of the dance studio adjacent to the practice field. So they all lined up in their unitards and toe shoes and protested by walking in the middle of our practice.
The last, involved other men’s sports teams. They wanted all the male athletes to take a sexual assualt class on the idea that since male athletes are statistically higher to commit sexual assualt, we should be forced to take a preventative class. I guess after the first night someone complained to the right people that it was discrimination and we never had to go back.