Things You Might Not Know About The Duke Case

Things you might not know about the Duke non-rape case if you haven’t read the new book “Until Proven Innocent” by Stuart Taylor, Jr, and KC Johnson:

* Collin Finnerty did not beat up a gay man in a homophobic rage outside a Georgetown bar in 2005, as much of the news media reported. Finnerty was one of several males involved in a beery confrontation. He pushed one of his antagonists but he did not hit anyone, gay or straight.

* Duke administrators were outraged that the lacrosse team had held a stripper party, but no such outrage greeted the more than 20 such parties held at Duke during the 2005-2006 academic year. Duke’s famous basketball team held one two weeks before, drawing no apparent criticism.

* Tara Levicy, the nurse who reported on the condition of Crystal Mangum after the alleged rape, shrugged off the absence of physical evidence of assault and the lack of lacrosse-player DNA with a feminist slogan: “Rape is about power, not passion.”

* Michael Nifong, whose parents had gone to Duke, was known for his hatred of Duke University and its students. According to Patsy McDonald, a law school classmate, he also had a “deep-seated antipathy to lacrosse players.”

* Sergeant Mark Gottlieb, who took over the case for the Durham police “hated Dukies and had an ugly history of abusing them, according to allegations by Duke students who dealt with him before the lacrosse case surfaced.” Gottlieb had jailed three times as many Duke students as the three other police supervisors in the area combined. In one case he jailed a female Duke student and a female friend and put them in a cell with a blood-covered, drug-addled woman who said she had stabbed someone. The charge against the two women was that they had failed to prevent a 19-year-old from taking a can of beer from a cooler during a party at their home.
* The news media churned out negative opinions of lacrosse players at Duke and other elite schools (Newsweek: “strutting lacrosse players are a distinctive and familiar breed on elite campuses… the players tend to be at once macho and entitled (and) sometimes behave like thugs.”) In fact, the authors write, the Duke players had no record of racism, sexism, violence or bullying. They studied hard, got good grades, and showed respect and consideration for minorities, women and workers who served the team. They also had a good record of community service, especially with a reading program that targeted black and Hispanic children.

* The notably fair and accurate journalists who covered the case (a short list) included Dan Abrams of MSNBC, Chris Cuomo of Good Morning America, Kurt Anderson of New York Magazine, Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes and the first New York Times reporter, Joe Drape, who was taken off the story shortly after concluding that the alleged rape looked like a hoax.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

21 thoughts on “Things You Might Not Know About The Duke Case

  1. The lacrosse team was described in a 2005 article in Tower Magazine (Duke) as being virtually anonymous on campus; but academically well-grounded. (In fact, they won more academic honors than any other lacrosse team in their division.)
    That wasn’t the picture presented by the media, which needed an Animal House team to complete the narrative.

  2. The magic formula point might be to help make non secular extremists realize that their particular censorship activities at all times lead to a whole lot of dialog that they are wanting to hold back.

  3. Posted by Frank Mauran | September 17, 2007 9:54 PM
    Posted on September 17, 2007 21:54
    J. Lewell:
    Actually, Tara Levicy was apparently not even a “Nurse”, but only a “Nurse in Training.”
    Actually, Tara was a SANE-In Training. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). She held an RN and was in training for a specialty.
    Charlie at 11:13pm above states
    affluent white males are guilty in general, and poor black females are victims in general….
    Actually I believe it was Karla Holloway who wrote in a published essay that White innocence meant Black Guilt……
    This is the mother of a man who advocated violence against Dukies for the “crime”. This campus is a bunch of crazies

  4. “I’m sure some lax players volunteered and studied hard, but the majority (or at least a prominent minority) fulfilled the boorish stereotype of the ‘frat athlete’ reminiscent of the Alpha Betas in Revenge of the Nerds.”
    So railroading three of them for rape is all right, then?

  5. “and I was friends with some lax players”
    With friends like these…
    If you were friends with some of the Duke players, Matt, you’d be more concerned with the fact that they were wrongly charged and defamed, than whether or not they were behaved like the bad guys in Revenge of the Nerds.

  6. One of the professors who signed the infamous “88” petition said it very clearly: it didn’t matter what the facts were or whether the lacrosse players were were “guilty’ in the traditional sense of the word. What mattered was the “larger narrative,” which of course is that affluent white males are guilty in general, and poor black females are victims in general. So if any white males are convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, it’s actually a good thing, because all white males deserve punishment for the “larger” sins of their kind.
    This is precisely the kind of moral relativism, couched in the language of of “poststructuralist” language and literary analysis that has infected so many of our universities. And the Duke English department, under the famed former leadership of Stanley Fish, was one of the first major instigators of this anti-intellectual trend that has destroyed much of our higher education system. There is a certain tragic poetic justice therefore that this scandal and travesty of justice not only occurred at Duke but was cheered on by the reckless, narcissistic and ideologically rigid professors of this sadly declined university.
    Why anyone would send their child there, particularly to play lacrosse, is a mystery to me. Why would you want your child to go to a place where the professors will hold her in contempt and perhaps even join in a lynch mob to frame her for a crime s/he didn’t commit? This is the natural progression of the “political correctness” movement and the intellectual sleight of hand called “poststructuralism” that has turned so many campuses into intellectual and moral wastelands and places where peoples’ lives can be summarily ruined by the meanspirited acts and words of an unaccountable few.

  7. Three years ago my middle son had his heart set on either of two schools, Duke or Pepperdine. I strongly urged Duke. Now, I’m tickled to be footing the bill for a Malibu lifestyle.

  8. Matt
    I appreciate that you may have personal experience, but your comment is just a “drive-by-comment”.
    If you have verifiable “evidence” of the bad behaviour you insinuate then present it.
    I am sure that the players are not angels. They are young men, and they will not always exhibit Emily Post manners. But there is a world of difference between “jock” behaviour and the way the Duke three and the lax team were portrayed.
    In my opinion, the real monsters here were the group of 88. These were not young people, but seasoned academics who behaved abominably.

  9. That pull-out quotation from Newsweek perfectly encapsulates what Rush Limbaugh refers to as the “Drive-by Media.” Without a correction setting the record straight and an apology not only to their readers but the victims of their slander, why would you believe anything published in that magazine?

  10. “In fact, the authors write, the Duke players had no record of racism, sexism, violence or bullying. They studied hard, got good grades, and showed respect and consideration for minorities, women and workers who served the team. They also had a good record of community service, especially with a reading program that targeted black and Hispanic children.”
    I can tell you from personal experience (and I was friends with some lax players) that this statement is not entirely true. I’m sure some lax players volunteered and studied hard, but the majority (or at least a prominent minority) fulfilled the boorish stereotype of the “frat athlete” reminiscent of the Alpha Betas in Revenge of the Nerds.

  11. Duke Professors: “Duke is an ugly, racist institution.”
    Duke Administration: “Please Give”
    This Duke Alum: “Cognitive dissidence. No cash for you!”

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