Friday, December 22, 2006

Brodhead, Finally

The Group of 88 appears determined to stay with Mike Nifong to the very end, but Duke president Richard Brodhead has--belatedly if commendably--issued an unequivocal statement on the case.

His statement:
I am greatly relieved for the students and their families that the most serious of the charges has been dropped. Given the certainty with which the district attorney made his many public statements regarding the rape allegation, his decision today to drop that charge must call into question the validity of the remaining charges.

The district attorney should now put this case in the hands of an independent party, who can restore confidence in the fairness of the process. Further, Mr. Nifong has an obligation to explain to all of us his conduct in this matter.
This statement makes all the right points, both in tone and in substance, and I very much hope all of Brodhead's recommendations are followed. I wish he had made this statement months ago, but am delighted he did so now.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: So my question to Brodhead is: are the 2 young men still suspended from Duke?

bill anderson said...

Brodhead's comments are too little, too later. Yes, I am glad he said what he did, but he should have ditched the talking points a long time ago.

As a result of his cowardice and his kowtowing to the Gang of 88, Duke will suffer consequences for years to come, and all the happy-talk "Duke meetings" around the country will not change anything.

Anonymous said...

Too little, too late.

He jumped on the PC gravy train early, and now he wants off, quite late in the day.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Better late than never.

I hope he addresses the Group of 88 now as well.

Anonymous said...

I've got the same question as the "non lawyer". Can the boys attend beginning the spring semester?

Cedarford said...

I will add a very germane item of news onto the actual case news.

That being that Google has just released their annual zeigist of top hits by search term category. In "controversies/recent news" Google reports that the Duke Rape case was not just the top search done globally, it occupies the 3 top spots out of 5 national and international "controversies/recent news" searches done in 2006.

Which indicates to me that the media may have not realized the enormous level of interest and how many people were hitting the Internet regularly the last 9 months for updates on events and controversy. And it indicates that the impact of the Duke Rape case is broad and deep on the American psyche.

It may have a major effect on:

1. The image of American justice.
2. Duke's reputation. It's my belief that Duke will pay a big price in national perception as a school in a very troubled place full of racial strife and crime, that has no loyalty to it's students, that encourages local police to single out students for police action, and a faculty that is permitted to attack accused students.
3. A more negative perception by a considerable portion of the American public on the abilities of black and feminist activists to render rational judgments.
4. National harm to the efforts of North Carolina to promote itself as a modern, progressive state.
5. More suspicion about the integrity and ethics of lawyers - especially if people see Nifong escape any civil or criminal consequences and conclude a cabal of powerful lawyers always encircles a fellow member of The Club with Good Ol' Boy protection a mere civilian does not get in the American justice system.
6. Far greater suspicion of women claiming rape, particularly black ones.
7. More belief that media is automatically biased to support the PC crowd.
8. More suspicion that the grand jury system sucks and is simply a secretive rubber stamp tool of the state and a convenient way to dispense with checks and balances in favor of unfettered power of prosecutors to manipulate gullible layman and lie to indict whoever they wish. (The exact opposite of what English Common Law intended grand juries to do before prosecutors figured out how to "game" them.)

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's belated backpedaling just isn't the real story here. We have the DOJ looking at potential civil rights violations at the request of a US Congressman. We have a runaway DA apparently supressing clearly exculpatory evidence in violation of the law (and the constitution!). The story here is Nifong. It's been the "Nifong Hoax" all along, not the Duke hoax. Sure, we can pity the poor saps like Broadhead and the MSM who bought it hook line and sinker, some more cuplable than others. And the Duke 88...huh? Anyone who ever went to college knows P.T. Barnum was right when it comes to professors at the left end of the dial. But hey, do you want to be arrested in North Carolina? I don't care if your black or white, you may be going down. That's the real story. We are losing one of the cornerstones that separates America (or so I thought) from the rest of the world--what has happend to our system of justice???

Anonymous said...

Far to little, far too late.

Perhaps, if he would start demanding explanations for their conduct from his own faculty, and not just Nifong, he would have slightly more credibility.

Anonymous said...

I knew we could count on Bill Anderson to say too little, too late. So predictable.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead is wrong about one thing. There is no need for an independent prosecutor to review the remaining charges. The case is an obvious hoax. The charges should just be dropped. Why drag it out?

Anonymous said...

Another embarrassed Duke alum here to say: "Too little, too late".

I'm disgusted by the behavior of the Duke administration and their professors and how they have actively enabled this hoax.

This Ivory tower lynch mob should rot in hell!

Anonymous said...

The American Thinker raises the same point I've raised on my blog: people are going to ask why the Group of 88 was not disciplined for violating the AAUP statement on academic freedom, section c. Duke enabled them, for that matter, by posting their ad on the official web site. Brodhead is making this position now only because he sees the questions that are going to be asked by alumni and donors.

Kemper said...

Brodhead, put your money where your mouth is. Say, it is clear the charges are fictional and I am going to allow Reade and Colin to return to classes this spring.

Enough is Enough. Nifungu IS going to jail
Kemp

Anonymous said...

Bill,

Would you please provide us with some evidence to support your repeated statements that the negative fall out to Duke from the LAX case is due to what you refer to as the cowardice of Brodhead and not to the ugly racist behavior of the players. I am getting really tired of listening to you repeat your own biased opinions ad nauseam as if they were incontrovertable facts. I understand that you desperately want to stick it to Brodhead because that will get you some pats on the back from the LAX supporters. I also understand that you are willing to bend the facts in order to promote this agenda. What I do not understand is how a professor can be so intellectually dishonest?

bill anderson said...

I have very, very little contact with the LAX supporters, so your comments are b.s.

Insult me if you would like, but at least I have the courage to identify myself.

You see, I got into this long before anyone with a connection with the LAX team emailed me, and I have had contact with only a few people and take no orders from them. Sorry, Mr. Anonymous, but that is the truth.

Yes, I am glad Brodhead made those comments, but they took no courage at all. Had he made them when Nifong was still insisting there was a rape, then I might be saying something different.

Tell me this, Mr. Anonymous, which LAX player made Nifong lie? Which LAX player made the Gang of 88 give us their little Marxist diatribes? Which LAX player created a hoax in which millions of dollars have been spent for promotion of a Big Lie?

You see, these guys had a party. Yes, they showed bad judgment, but the same kind of bad jugement that college kids across the country make.

But who had worse judgment, the players or Michael Nifong? Mr. Anonymous, you seem to be saying that all of this was unavoidable. Lies are never unavoidable.

By the way, Mr. Anonymous, which LAX player has lied throughout this ordeal? Which LAX player created a dishonest "wanted" poster? Which LAX player has committed perjury? Which LAX player filed a dishonest police report?

The answer is NONE. I cannot say the same for the people you support.

This is my last comment to you, for you are a coward who cannot even muster the courage to identify yourself. You take shots at me, call me a liar ("intellectually dishonest," which is the same damned thing) and hide behind "anonymous."

I have put my stuff out there for everyone to make comments. I have received threats both to me and to my family, but I still do it. You, on the other hand, simply give me Duke University administration talking points. You are a damned coward, period.

Anonymous said...

6:56

The players told the truth and nothing but the truth from the beginning. They emphatically stated that they did not sexually or otherwise physically assault the accuser. Since March they've never wavered - none of the 46 or 48 involved in this travesty have backed off their initial statements proclaiming their innocence.

Other than the false accuser, the only racism the LAX is accused of was instigated by Kim Roberts (by her own admission). This doesn't make their racist response any prettier but, your claim of racism in your post makes what happened seem much more evil than what it really was. A reaction to someone else saying racist things to them.

For me, the ongoing action and inaction of the president, board and faculty would carry much more weight in my decision to apply to Duke than the action or inaction of the players.

Wave Maker said...

I appreciate bill anderson's forthrightness and complete disclosure here -- and I think anyone who comes to a blog and attacks a person ANONYMOUSLY is a piece of excrement who doesn;t deserve the courtesy that Mr. Anderson is giving her/him.

I am here because my daughter is in the midst of completing her application to Duke, but we are pessimistic that it will ever enter the U.S. Post -- specifically because of the treatment that this case has received from the Duke administration.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brodhead:
I hire lots of college graduates. I will hire no more Duke graduates. Period. Ever.

Anonymous said...

To late Brodheard. This will not do it. You, Steel BOtand gang of 88 can never redeam yourselves. All must go ASAP

Anonymous said...

cedaford - Good read and I agree with every point. Most of this is positivee changes in America - Save the boys and forget Duke.

ec said...

6:56 is a coward and Brodhead shill POS. Nothing more.

Yes, FINALLY Brodhead made a statement that was more than a waffle. Though we need to remember Brodhead is spineless and NOT stupid. Hence the "roadshow" to save face and now, since it is crystal clear even to the blind that Nifong is a criminal, he makes a statement in support of the boys. Wow, I'm truly impressed.

BTW to Bill Anderson, keep up the great work and you do not need to justify anything to anyone. Especially to anonymous cowards.

Slowkid said...

Speaking as another Duke graduate, I have every belief that members of the lax team did perpetrate racist language. Just as I am confident that they did not perpetrate any of the more heinous crimes.

Thanks go out to KC Johnson for some fine coverage as this story has developed. I did some investigating of my own KC. Yours is an interesting story, and I'm still trying to figure your angle. I think you're tied into some sort of backlash against academic activism.

I graduated in 92 with a degree in cultural anthropology. There was no particular deep political correctness at Duke then, but I could see it creeping over the horizon. At that time in the Philosophy dept. Rick Roderick was doing his schtick, and smoking in the classroom. My freshman year there were still kegs on campus most nights of the week. Those poor kids today ...

Anonymous said...

To Non-Lawyer,
My understanding from those who know is that Duke has a policy of suspending anyone charged with a felony until the charges are resolved. Unless President Mrodhead makes an exception in light of this highly unusual and ridiculous situation, the defendants may not return to campus.
Note that Duke, like our system of justice, is not really set up to adjust to the reality of a Rogue Prosecutor. They are just as lost as the Bar, the FBI, or the DOJ. It's not clear to me why they cannot be more nimble for $40-$50K per annum. But I doubt the defendants would feel safe there now anyway, and I have no idea how they could concentrate on studies with this haunting them.
Cedarford, I think you are correct on all counts.
Anons pro-B...President Brodhead IS a major part of the story as it relates to Duke and prospective students. At least he is important to me as the parent of a very smart senior who we hope will attend a very selective university...but that seems a lot less important now. I guess you will just have to wait for the statistics on applications and admissions...all we have now are antidotes like mine and the ED stats. I personally believe that the details of the Duke response will become understood more broadly as time passes, not less, and the impact will likely be felt for some time.

Ob

Anonymous said...

brodhead has to go--by elevating that ghetto to departmental status, he was capitulating to the parasites

would u want to send your son to a school that has a majority-black jury pool

i think not

integration, sad to say, is a failure

boycott duke

univ virginia and unc r better schools

duke has already lost a lot of its prestige

annex it to NCCU make it an all-black school--brodhead would like that

Zimri said...

Anonymous said...
"Hey Brodhead:I hire lots of college graduates. I will hire no more Duke graduates. Period. Ever."

That's a bit much. Just take their transcripts and a black felt tip marker. Look for any classes they've taken with the Group of 88, and strike those out. If the end result is greater than Duke's graduation requirements and they still have a decent GPA, then let 'em in.

But Brodhead's turnabout is, indeed, too late. I'm thinking that dollar $ign$ were dancing in the administration's heads. They didn't want to "waste" any money on a case which they thought they might lose to a Durham jury, and then get sued by the Increasingly Inaccurately Titled Alleged Victim.

Only now that it looks like Duke itself might get sued, and after seeing the shortage of incoming upper/ middle class males: only now do they turn around.

If I had the opportunity to interview with Brodhead; I'd tell him that he had made a good start, but that he ought to apologise, and then to break the power of the Group of 88.

Anonymous said...

hey brodhead,

how do u feel about firing the coach, u feckless scumbag?

jc

theman said...

Broadhed is a great president and he will lead nccu to gret things he know the lxa players do bad things

Anonymous said...

Hey DICK -

About time you grabbed your mouse-nuts --- go back to New Haven.

Anonymous said...

"8. More suspicion that the grand jury system sucks....."

It sucks in Durham, and possibly all of NC, but let's not give Nifong's deceit too much emphasis and underpin the good aggressive DA's trying to put real dirtbags behind bars.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"people are going to ask why the Group of 88 was not disciplined for violating the AAUP statement on academic freedom"

Then they're going to ask why they were rewarded ! Raising the AAS to a "Department" from what I would call "intramural status".

They'll never get another dollar from me.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me that Mr. Broadhead just got the stats on application for next year. My guess is that they weren't too good, especially among those who can actually pay Duke tuition.

Anonymous said...

anyone know when that scumbag's roadshow hits NY?

Mr Hankie and I want to say hideho

jc

Concerned Texan said...

I am very happy that Brodhear has apparently turned a corner. Never the less, he has a long way to go to begin to undo the mess he caused by his knee jerk reaction last spring which resulted in a coach resigning, season cancelled and reputations shattered. He and his puppet master Steele have much to make amends for.

locomotive Breath said...

To the Duke alum who asked...

http://www.adukeconversation.com/

You can bet I'll be at the one near me

Anonymous said...

To Bill:

In your last comment, you did a nice job of huffing and puffing, but I notice that you did not answer the question. The question was would you please provide us with some evidence to support your repeated statements that the negative fall out to Duke from the LAX case is due to what you refer to as the cowardice of Brodhead and not to the ugly racist behavior of the players. The truth is that your statements about Brodhead constitute nothing but your own personal opinion, they are not supported by any evidence whatsoever, and this explains why you would not answer the question. You are presenting your opinion as if it constitutes an incontrovertible fact because you want to spin this story in a way which deflects criticism from the LAX players. As long as you continue to distort the facts in this way, then you are intellectually dishonest and your statements about the case are completely worthless.

Anonymous said...

To Wave Maker:

Is Wave Maker your correct legal name, or do you just like to come to these blogs and attack people anonymously?

bill anderson said...

Please explain the "ugly racist behavior of the players." Was it Reade, David, or Collin? None of them made the cotton shirt comment.

Call it huffing an puffing, but which lacrosse player lied? Can you say the same about the DA or the Gang of 88?

I see you are still "anonymous." Why are you so afraid to identify yourself?

Anonymous said...

10:53

The ugly "fallout" is the plummeting future enrollment rate of high quality male students to Duke. You gonna blame that on the LAX students' wild and raucous party?

All your whining is not going to save Brodhead. He knows he is effed if Duke loses stature because of the way he has performed his job. You know that too, thats why youre here shilling for him. But all his silly alumni get-togethers are for naught. The negative publicity and bitter reactions that will be coming from the end game in this hoax will destroy him. And you too, alas.

Anonymous said...

Like many private "national" universities, Duke is over-priced, and over-rated.

I can't imagine paying $40k per year to send my kid to a school with such little dignity, character, grace in its administration and faculty.

I could justify it if it were a public university, at a tenth of the cost, but the hell if I'd pay top dollar for this crap.

Anonymous said...

To Bill:

You continue to avoid the question and offer responses which are disingenuous. The fact that the three indicted players may not be the ones who made the racist comments does not mean that there was no ugly racist behavior at the party. The truth is that there was ugly racist behavior and anyone who is being honest about the case would acknowledge this. Also, the fact that none of the LAX players lied and that arguably the DA and the group of 88 did does not prove that the negative fall out to Duke is due to what you refer to as the cowardice of Brodhead. The truth is that there is absolutely no evidence at all to support your statement about Brodhead. You are just trying to spin this story in a way which deflects criticism from the players. As long as you continue down this path, you are being intellectually dishonest, and no amount of huffing and puffing or dodging the question will change that fact.

The Sword of Justice said...

The time has come for the blogosphere to take a VERY close look at the writings of the Gang of 88. Given that so many of these people are such lightweights, chances are very good that another Ward Churchill scandal is just waiting to see the light.

Anonymous said...

To 11:06 PM:

Why would Brodhead be held responsible for a decline in the number of applications to Duke? If there is a decline, it will undoubtedly be due to the fact that the ugly behavior of the lacrosse players has made it appear that the students at Duke are a bunch of arrogrant racist brats who are consorting with strippers and prostitutes and getting themselves into legal trouble when they should be studying or playing their sport or doing something productive. This image was reinforced by the comments of the prosecutor at the beginning of the case, by the long drawn out negative national media coverage of the case, and by the public comments of Houston Baker, who talked about the culture of racism and white athletic privilege at Duke. All of this delivered a big hit to the reputation of Duke, but none of it had anything to do with Brodhead. It all started with the ugly behavior of the lacrosse players.

The Sword of Justice said...

Among the Gang of 88 are two historians, William Chafe and Peter Wood.

What do we know about these two?

Anonymous said...

11:34--these so-called "racist" remarks to which u refer occur every day in US--antiblack, antiwhite--it doesn't matter

what matters is that a low IQ felonious whore, combined with a demagogic group of black thugs and a corrupt prosecutor, attempted to ruin the lives of nonwhores

brodhead sided with the academic welfare brigade, the whore, and nifong

now come dah pain

brodhead will b history

jc

wayne fontes said...

To anonymous Broadhead apologist

How about the fact the Duke administration advised the lax players not to get lawyers or tell their parents when they were facing rape charges. Is that the kind of an adminstration you would want in charge of your children.

Anonymous said...

To Wayne Fontes:

As Bill Anderson and KC both know very well, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Brodhead had anything to do with that episode. In fact, from everything I have read about this case, it appears that the decision to have Coach Pressler tell the players that they should not hire lawyers or tell their parents what was going on was made by Dean Sue Wasiolek without the knowledge or consent of Brodhead. You should note that this action does not necessarily reflect any kind of evil motives on the part of the university. For example, since this action was taken in the very early days of the case, it may simply have been based on the idea that the players were innocent and had nothing to hide and thus did not need lawyers, which after all is the very same basis on which the LAX captains had already given extensive statements to the police without lawyers being present. Also, you should note that there is no indication that Pressler ever objected to this, and to my knowledge, this action never resulted in any prejudice to the players because their parents were informed before anything happened. I am not suggesting that this last point means that the initial decision by Wasiolek was a good one but simply that it serves to put the whole episode into perspective. So if you want to fire someone over this episode, I guess we should fire Sue Wasiolek.

Anonymous said...

" thank your grandpa" barely makes the racial remark meter. The hip -hop artist are far better at insulting their own people and women. You can tell these boys do not know how to deliver a racial taunt.

Anonymous said...

To JC:

Brilliant post. There is certainly no reason to blame the LAX players for making loud racist comments because everybody does it. And of course the fact that everybody does it also constitutes powerful proof that their loud racist comments, which were broadcast all over the country by the national media, did nothing to hurt the reputation of Duke. The only thing that hurt the reputation of Duke was Brodhead. Good point.

Anonymous said...

I guess your are right about Dean Sue - they all need to be fired and BOT resign.

Anonymous said...

11:24--THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID--YES, THE SLURS MATTER

BUT WHEN U EXAMINE WHAT'S REALLY HURTING DUKe's reputation, it's:
--academic welfare
--weak president
--proximity to demagogic "community" (durham)

jc

Anonymous said...

To JC:

Please provide evidence to support your position that what is really hurting Duke is a weak president rather than the ugly racist behavior of the LAX players.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead knows that Nifong is now on the ropes and perhaps his remarks will be the knockout punch. They are six months too late and appear now to be simply opportunistic.

Anonymous said...

To JC: I see that you are good at shooting your mouth off, but you do not seem to be too good at responding to the question posed by the 2:42 PM commenter.

Anonymous said...

I notice that Bill Anderson is also good at shooting his mouth off with biased personal opinions masquerading as facts, but when someone calls on him to provide evidence to support his biased opinions, he just runs and hides.

Anonymous said...

Mike, are you hiding on this post? Or is it Dick? Ignore the 5:32 and the rest of the drivel - it is the same person and I think it is Mike.

Anonymous said...

The accuser is a liar. Nifong is a liar. Brodhead is a liar. The media is a liar. The LAW is a liar.

Who ya gonna believe next time?

Anonymous said...

It is about time Brodhead grew a spine and stood up for his students. However, it is easy to do it now. I would have much more respect for him had he not taken the popular course and actually acted as he stated(sometimes) that they are innocent until proven guilty. Had he really believed that he would not have cancelled the season and forced the coach to resign after receiving an email based on the quote from a movie on the syllabus of 3 classes at Duke. Also note that he acted not long after meeting with the four captains telling them that he believed them. Time to eat crow Mr. Brodhead. It is not easy but it is time. A public apology to these 3(and really the entire lacrosse team) is due. Don't just release a statement now that Nifong should step aside. Folks have been urging you to do that for too long for you now to put out a statement when it is easy. Get in front of the camera like you did before. Make you apology to them public and support your students. Speaking of getting in front of the camera. Steel seemed pretty eager to show his face early on. We have not heard anything from him in the last couple of days. NOTICABLE SILENCE!!! It is time for Bob Steel to apologize to these kids and to take a stand against Nifong. Get the board on a conference call and make it happen. Admit the mistakes you made in the past. Clearly you and John Mack felt that the lacrosse team was expendable. That is sure how you and the administration treated the students. (It is widely known that John Mack was one of the early trustees to push for disbanding the lacrosse program permanently.)

When all of these charges are dropped and the world knows how poorly you handled the situation, it is going to be too late for "Conversations with Duke" around the country. It is going to be too late to say I'm sorry. No wonder early decision applications are down. The administration would love to think that it is b/c parents are afraid to send their kids to Duke b/c they might get raped by a lacrosse player or have a couple beers now and again. Clearly parents are concerned about how this school treats their students and question the environment they would encounter should a situation occur in the future of any magnitude.

Time to step up Brodhead and Steel. (Well, any good man would have done it in march or April...any half-man in july/august....but let's give you a shot a keeping some sense of honor and take a stand and admit your wrongdoings.)

I MEAN STEEL FOUGHT SO HARD TO KEEP THE CHAIR WHEN HE TOOK THE TREASURY POST. SHOW US WHY! YOU CURRENT SILENCE IS DEAFENING!!

Anonymous said...

boycott duke