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Friday, October 08, 2010
Everything Duke and lacrosse is not "Duke Lacrosse"

By now, everyone has heard about the "senior thesis" in "horizontal academics" that a 2010 Duke grad wrote as joke, a spoof thesis presentation describing the performance of thirteen Duke student-athletes (seven of them happened to be lacrosse players) with whom she had sex during her time in school. The New York Times got in on the story today, talking about embarrassed and weary the campus is over another scandal.

I have Duke lacrosse on the brain right now. So I was disappointed, although not surprised, that The Times mentioned the now-almost-five-year-old scandal involving false sexual-assault accusations against the lacrosse players. Much as I was not surprised that everyone talked about the Duke lacrosse scandal in covering the murder of Yeardley Love, a UVa lacrosse player, allegedly by her UVa lacrosse-player former boyfriend.

Will Duke lacrosse ever cease to be a reference point for salacious behavior (I cannot call this 'bad' behavior, because having consensual sex with a number of different people is not implicitly bad behavior and, frankly, neither is talking about it) involving Duke University and/or lacrosse? The seven lacrosse players mentioned in the "thesis" certainly did nothing close to bad or even inappropriate (I'm shocked, shocked, to find that male college students have consensual sex with women, often after an evening of drinking). Why would the paper even mention, in connection with them, an old scandal (none of the current players even were on campus in 2006) involving false accusations of criminal misconduct by a corrupt prosecutor and angry faculty? Even if you believe (as some do) that the lacrosse players five years ago were in the wrong for hiring a stripper, the current still situation still does not come close to that.


it really feels like they are dragging up old news, which should never have been news!, for no reason.

Anonymous john -- 10/09/2010 9:11 AM  

You are correct in that this story has absolutely no relation to the Duke lacrosse scandal of years ago. However, the media considers everything "fair game," so it should come as no surprise that The New York Times, and likely other publications, reinvoked the scandal. The behavior of media is something that will probably never be changed; they are in the business of presenting news to SELL advertisement space. As a result, the lesson is clear: if you are in any sort of position that draws media attention (sports, entertainment, politics, etc.), watch your steps and don't act foolishly. Don't even put yourself in a position to be connected to foolish activity because your image will be tarnished forever. America never forgets scandal or disaster, regardless of whether you have been acquitted or not.

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