Friday, March 02, 2007

Brodhead Conversation

With a new bowtie, I attended the latest of “A Duke Conversation” events, which last night was held in New York. The event consists of introductory remarks by President Brodhead, an address by one Duke professor, a “conversation” between Brodhead and two Duke students, and a few questions from the audience.

Last night’s faculty member was a reminder of Duke’s extraordinary strengths in the sciences. Dr. Barton Haynes is Professor of Medicine and Immunology and Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute; he spoke, extemporaneously, about his work with the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology. Haynes had no difficulty making science understandable for a general audience.

The two Duke students, Rob Harris and Claire Lauterbach, likewise were very impressive: both were remarkably good speakers who had compiled records at Duke that combined academic achievement with copious amounts of community service.

Brodhead was very effective at the gathering; he came across as intelligent, a polished speaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor. He spoke without notes, both in his introductory remarks and in his conversation with the students. In his comments about Duke, he outlined an ambitious future, celebrating an improved financial aid campaign and campus facilities, and promising that the remodeling of Central Campus would transform the University.

On more controversial matters, the president opened with a summary of the lacrosse case and briefly mentioned the Campus Culture Initiative; his comments were as notable for what he did not say as for what he did.

He conceded, ruefully, that the case had attracted extraordinary press attention—much more, he noted, than international topics such as the North Korean nuclear weapons program. Brodhead said that events last spring placed the University in an “extraordinarily difficult situation,” because it was forced to act upon “radically imperfect information.”

He described the crisis in the following way: a party occurred, followed, shortly thereafter, by an accusation. The media seized upon the claim, along with a district attorney who gave at least 40 interviews expressing with certainty that a rape occurred. Brodhead noted that Nifong’s boasts do not correspond with the evidence as it now seems to exist.

Notably absent from this recapitulation: any mention of the statements and conduct of the Duke faculty. No mention of Houston Baker’s open letter. No mention of William Chafe’s saying that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided the appropriate historical context through which to interpret the lacrosse players’ behavior. No mention of the Group of 88, or Karla Holloway’s remarks, or Peter Wood’s apparent reign of slander.

Obviously, all of these statements look terrible in retrospect. But it seems they have to be acknowledged as part of the story, just as Nifong’s misleading statements must be so acknowledged.

Brodhead went out of his way to say positive things and only positive things about the lacrosse players. He noted their impressive rate of community service. He expressed his joy at the team returning to competition. He called new coach John Danowski a mensch. The tone of his comments was remarkably different than, say, his June 5 statement about the team, which seemed to go out of its way to put the team in the worst possible light.

Brodhead’s portrayal of the Campus Culture Initiative also raised eyebrows among those who had been following the debate. He told the audience that the CCI’s central elements were proposals dealing with housing, dining, and improving social space, especially for activities that didn’t involve alcohol. No mention of the CCI’s athletics proposals for a de facto withdrawal of Duke from the ACC. No mention of the Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative, the CCI recommendation that all Duke students be forced to take a class dealing with US “diversity,” courses disproportionately taught by Group members.

These remarks essentially continued his less-than-enthusiastic response to the CCI's most extreme proposals.

Finally, in his conversation with the students, Brodhead said that he would be “depressed” to work at a University where the administrators set student values; such work, he declared, should be performed by the students, with administrators setting the basic parameters, as if through a pitch pipe. It will be interesting to see if he meant what he said: certainly this vision clashes with the attempted values indoctrination of the CCI.

The Q+A session dealt with general matters; if I could have asked a question, two sprang to mind.

1) If—understandably—the University had to act upon “radically imperfect information,” why did Brodhead decline at least two offers from defense sources to give the University access to the entire discovery file? This decision remains one of the real mysteries, to me, of the case: it’s hard to fathom an argument why the University would not have wanted to obtain as much information as possible, if only to better inform its decisionmaking process.

2) Do some Duke faculty members—those whose views on race, class, and gender reflect the faculty status quo at Duke and most other campuses—not have to adhere to the Faculty Handbook, which requires Duke professors to treat with respect all Duke students, not just those whose race, class, or gender faculty ideologues find agreeable? It appears, based on the last 10 months, the answer to this question is that the Group of 88 and its allies do not have to adhere to the Faculty Handbook, but I remain puzzled as to why.

All in all, a most enjoyable evening (Haynes’ speech was fascinating), one that reinforced the sense that Brodhead’s reaction to the CCI’s most extreme proposals isn’t positive but continued his pattern or refusing to acknowledge in any way the misconduct by some members of the arts and sciences faculty.


Anonymous said...

KC -

Quick question: has your opinion of Brodhead changed at all from the evening?

Chicago said...

KC-I am sure the new bow-tie was a big hit. I am sure Brodhead was impressed you bought a new one just for the occasion.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn asks:

KC, I admire your restraint. It's certainly not something I would have emulated. Had I been there, my loud mouth would have asked the very questions you outlined. I therefore assume no one asked them - in which case, Brodhead got off lightly.

He'd better enjoy it while it lasts. Somehow, I just have the feeling that in a few months a different loud mouth will be asking some other questions - the kind one asks in something called 'discovery' and 'lawsuit'.

wayne fontes said...

I'm surprised that the two aspects of the CCI he didn't mention were athletics and the G88 reeducation drive. Brodhead may think both topics would be unpopular with an alumni group.

When is going to let Wahneema Lubiano speak at one of these events?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Nice summary and I really liked your questions, but I think it was probably best that you did not ask or have a chance to ask a question. [I do not know which was the case.] It was afterall a Duke alums event.

The primary part of interest to me was his reaction to the CCI reenforcing your view of his initial reaction. Now it remains to be seen if this similar to Arafat talking peace in English and calling for driving Israel into the sea in Arabic or whether or not Brodhead will work to stop most CCI proposals.

Anonymous said...

The G88 capitalized on a setup, took part in a frameup, and have since engaged in a coverup. As for the coverup - lying, denying, obfuscation and delusion have run their course and here we are, still with the facts. The actions of the G88 were and still are radioactive. Brodhead and anyone of any integrity cannot touch this. Thus he skirts the issue. Better leave all of this for the legal folks.

Gary Packwood said...

You asked about the Group of 88 and its allies and why they do not have to adhere to the Faculty Handbook. You remain puzzled as to why.

I can only offer a single thought for you since I have been through this before.

Several years ago the Duke felt the need to bring scholars in 'liberal studies' to the campus. Attracting such faculty to live in Durham was going to be a huge challenge they reasoned.

When these new faculty interviewed at Duke they asked to be removed from the requirement that they work with undergraduate students outside of the classroom and they asked that they not be assigned campus committee work.

Duke agreed...via contract.

Now these professors are sitting out there at Duke ...on a island in the sky. The rest of the faculty is not pleased with their arrangement ...and their behavior and ...most students think they are a joke... and the community (Durham) has not a single clue what to do with them...and you can't give them to the AAA Black University in Durham.

Hopefully the students will refuse to sign up for their courses and all of them will eventually ...go away.

The Duke alumni should watch over that process very carefully, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I, too, really hope that he meant what he said about the administration setting student values. In my time there I felt like a great many important decisions and policy in general were made to complete contradict the interests of the student body.

The worst of this was administrators like Larry Moneta trying to reshape the university in their own image, as if the past traditions or current student body of a great university were irrelevant. This trend, along with social policies that dumped Duke's responsibility off campus and into surrounding neighborhoods, combined to culminate in the lacrosse case - with an off campus party in a tense neighborhood and then the faculty and administration rushing either to burn students or leave them swinging in the wind.

The CCI seems like yet another attempt by people who are fortunate enough to be employed by Duke but don't go there trying to reshape the place according to their own personal wishes, and to hell with everyone else. I hope Brodhead centers his actions around this statement that the students of the school, not its employees, should shape its values.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead (and certainly the G88) still seem to be trying to cling to the notion that they can control discourse: that inconvenient truths can be ignored, that past statements, actions (and inactions) can be forgotten, that the past can be edited.

It's a forlorn hope. The case has attracted too much attention. A comprehensive record exists. KC is still on the job. Litera scripta manet.

kbp said...

Thanks KC

Appreciate you sharing details of your evening venture.

Brodhead did well for himself, by pushing the case through, and following with a different topic.

We've already covered that, next question quickly, please?

dhd said...

Thanks for attending and reporting on last night's "A Duke Conversation" and for reminding me of the great good at Duke, as embodied in the talk by Dr. Haynes. I've been so appalled by the Group of 88 that I've pushed aside in my mind the people and programs that make Duke a great institution. It's worth exposing and fighting against the herd mentality of The 88 to prevent them from further infecting Duke. The 88 are so very little compared to the good and great professors there, but they are so very loud.

don t. said...

The spin continues..and as other members of the administration trot out their sycophantic dog and pony shows, the fog will thicken and cloud out in many minds the bilious performance by this feckless boob at the beginning of this episode. He is not going to criticize the scumbag g88....he is effectively one of them. And to try to cloak himself with a measure of respectability by having Dr. Haynes on the stage is so obvious, it is disgusting.

Thanks so very much for attending the meeting. Your recap was excellent.

To be quite honest, I do not think there is anything brodhead could say that would excuse or justify his behavior in the beginning.

He really needs to go somewhere else and take along his 88+ minions.


dhd said...

Thanks, KC, for attending and reporting on last night's "A Duke Conversation" and for reminding me of the great good at Duke, as embodied in the talk by Dr. Haynes. I've been so appalled by the Group of 88 that I've pushed aside in my mind the people and programs that make Duke a great institution. It's worth exposing and fighting against the herd mentality of The 88 to prevent them from further infecting Duke. The 88 are so very little compared to the good and great professors there, but they are so very loud.

Anonymous said...


I also attended. A couple of notes:

Brodhead stated that his/ Duke's plan for addressing the scandal early on included 3 key elements which he claims they executed. From recollection, they were as follows:

1) Recognize the severity of the accusations- check.
2) Uphold the presumption of innocence- It seems this was not done.
3) Avoid a rush to judgement- It seems this was also not done.

Had I asked a question, I would have asked him how Duke plans to address the seething cauldron of hate which resides in several humanities departments. Presumably some sort of sensitivity training may be required, if one believes such an approach can be effective. Perhaps in tandem, or instead, there should also be some sort of negative feedback which might deter future expressions of this racism/ sexism/ "classism".

My second question would have been regarding whether the Larry Summers debaucle influenced his handling of the situation as he must have known that this vocal fringe group of haters can bring down even a highly competent university president even to the detriment of the entire university.

Separately, a notable comment during the presentation on the quest for an AIDS vaccine. The speaker first noted that there has been no success to date in the quest and contemplated why that was. He later noted that the first team member hired at the conception of the CHAVI organization was a patent lawyer because the IP issues are so crucial.

As an IP professional myself I found this hysterical. I think I know why the quest has not yet succeeded. Perhaps the first hire should have been a top researcher of some sort.

Anonymous said...

Two observations:

(1) My perception (from afar) is that Brodhead has gotten off relatively lightly in all this, given that he IS Duke University, in a sense. He should be held to a very high standard indeed. Even this site seems to pull its punches when it comes to Brodhead;

(2) The rot at Duke must have been considerable by the time this whole business erupted last year. The Gang of 88 didn't spring out of nowhere. It suggests that the institution is not what many of its graduates imagine it is, or once was. Years of hirings, promotions and policies by Duke administrators and academics have taken their toll, which was evident in the sudden outpouring of bile and anger from WITHIN the institution itself towards a segment of its own population.

Anonymous said...

Were ANY tough questions asked? Or were the questions arranged in advance by, for example, pre-identifying those who would be called upon for their "safe" questions... in the limited time available... of course.

Howard said...

Broadhead has now been reduced to a salesman, one who has an inferior product but who has decided nonetheless to "sell" it. He seems to think that leaving things out is like telling the truth. Hey Broadguy, it isn't; leaving out facts is lying.

To give the "Devil his due" Duke is facing tens of million of dollars in lawsuits which means the Dean of the University has to pretend nothing really happened. If Duke loses the God only Knows how many suits the millions in damages will come out of Duke's considerable portfolio and may cost Broadguy his job. When in doubt CYA. As you point out, Duke's ass is too big to cover.

Anonymous said...

KC-I think the reason the Brodhead's changed his tune on the lacrosse team is that he was there for the return of the lacrosse team for the first time in a year.

Brodhead saw for himself that these young men had not only the other students standing behind them but alot of people from around the country that made plans to attend the first game.

I think that sent a really big message to him, and if he wants to continue to back the g88 then his students will make his life a living hell. Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that Brodhead is skilled at sizing up his audience and telling them what they want to hear.

The 88 no doubt also feel encouraged and emboldened by Brodhead's empathy for their perspective put forth in their "statements" and "teach ins."

Duke needs more, much more, than personal charm.

sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

Brodhead is John Beluchi's raised eyebrow.
Did you meet and talk with Duke alumni at the meeting? What is their take on this? Did Brodhead say anything about his refusal to meet with parents? Have you interveiwed any of the lacrosse families in the NYC-LI area?

P. Rich said...

Brodhead. Politician. No further explanation required.

"Finally, in his conversation with the students, Brodhead said that he would be “depressed” to work at a University where the administrators set student values; such work, he declared, should be performed by the students..."


How would you interpret that statement? Or would you, as I, rate it as meaningless pap? Students "setting" student values. How...vague. Or maybe he believes the exemplars of this view are the potbangers.

In closing for the moment, I want to say (which I have not made a previous point of doing) that I hope there is a serious reward out there in the future for your hard work and tenacity in reporting on this farce and all the principal actors.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break...

"To give the "Devil his due" Duke is facing tens of million of dollars in lawsuits which means the Dean of the University has to pretend nothing really happened. If Duke loses the God only Knows how many suits the millions in damages will come out of Duke's considerable portfolio and may cost Broadguy his job."

What possible civil damages is Duke likely to face, much less damages that would be significant? If you're going to bash Duke without letting facts get in the way, go ahead, but it would be nice if you tried to keep your criticisms credible.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Haynes heads a big-dollar research program that sounds good when he describes it, as he does well. Its interest to Duke is the dollars it brings in. Students at Duke, especially undergraduates, will never be a part of the program, unless one or two are used as symbols for pictures. Insofar as instruction at any level, it is the same as an NBA team playing basketball in Cameron -- you can watch and clap but you cannot participate.

Anonymous said...

Glad you got your Tie! I too was impressed with Brodhead, when I went to the the Charlotte meeting.
Did anyone ask any hard questions?
In Charlotte he got grilled pretty well.


Anonymous said...

Haynes and Brodhead said that part of the University's new philosophy is to include employment of undergraduates in programs such as this HIV consortium.

I had to leave after 2 questions, one about alzheimer's research at Duke (this, after the 15-20 minute HIV research lecture) and a general question about the new strategic plan. The audience was basically anaesthetized by the lecture and "conversations" with the two students. There was a list of great questions passed around but very few audience members were raising their hands. I think the NYTimes horrible reportage had a severe dampening effect on NYers' knowledge of the ongoing injustice.

I am thankful KC went to the event. I continue to be underwhelmed by Brodhead. He stuttered and stammered more than usual - and I am not being critical of his persoanl manner of speaking - when he was discussing the crucial moments of the hoax. He said "I" or "me" or "my" on a few occasions but immediately added "we" and "us" or "our" - while trying to keep on message without revealing the truth. I believe this is because of fear of his words being used against him in the future.

Gary Packwood said...

Oh Nonsense!

Undergraduate students everywhere are interested in time management, mid-term/final exams, papers, relationships and their families.

Institutional values at Duke become a concern when graduates reach the age of 40.

There are exceptions of course and don't we all just dream of the day that young people see the 'whole' picture.

A small group of faculty members are trying to change the 'college experience' into the whole picture... because they have nothing better to do.

The harder they push the harder the students are going to push back.

Strippers, silly but wild parties and other stunts is all about ...pushing back.

If all of us could turn the clock back to our college days, how many of us would voluntarily attend meetings where we would discuss changing 'campus values' and why we need to be more ...sensitive.

The challenge for Duke is to manage those factors that cause undergraduate students to push back so fiercely.

Anonymous said...

As an individual viewing from afar as an other blogger put it, does anybody think any of the g88 will lose their jobs over this? I spoke to a former teacher at a Greensboro school who tells me if they have a tenured position, it will be difficult. I can't imagine that the school would keep anybody with a rush to judgement mentality, or a complete lack of respect for the students or the institution

Anonymous said...

So, his view is that it should not have attracted so much attention. That would be great - boys would be in jail by now but only for perhaps 20 years.

Brodhead - what a guy.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the group of 88, but every college has a similar group. They represent the minority at Duke--there are so many great professors and great departments, doing meaningful work. The 88 have shown us, by their words and actions, their agenda. We won't get an apology, but who cares? Let's move on. They don't represent Duke anymore than their cohorts represent Princeton or Yale.

While I don't support everything Brodhead has done with respect to the Lax incident over the last year, I believe he has consistently, from the beginning, urged all to refrain from rushing to judgment. Very early on he acknowledged that the facts were in dispute. By the fall it was clear that he was just waiting for a development so he could take a stand against the prosecution. He did make mistakes, especially when confronted with the overwhelming media rush to judgment. But I think he has learned from this, and I believe that is one of the reasons he is cool on the CCI report. As hard as this has been on all, and especially the wrongfully accused, I think in the end Duke will learn from it and will be a better place.

Edward said...

You wrote that smallhead used the word "mensch" in his presentation.

What is a "mensch"?

Thank you.

MTU'76 said...

There is a history of horrific mistakes at Duke and then accepting responsibility, and making corrections. Ricky Brodhead, and James Jaggers, MD: two men who have committed grave errors, but only one of them has accepted responsibility.
Dick Brodhead, Duke's ninth president: "Duke's core values are quite close to my own, and I will represent them with real dedication. I also feel the institution would welcome change in the places where I see room for growth. If I can be part of making a very good university even better, it will be a great satisfaction."
"The original mismatch was a tragic error, and Duke accepts responsibility for our mistake,"

And this:
The Washington Post, February 24, 2003
Surgical Expertise, Undone by Error; Chain of Miscommunication in Transplant Led to Teenager's Death
"Jesica Santillan died Saturday at Duke University Medical Center, surrounded by an arsenal of medical technology, top doctors and a network of experts dedicated to transplanting her with organs that could save her life."

"None of these measures, however, protected her from a misunderstanding between her doctor and a North Carolina organ bank. As a result, mismatched organs were transplanted into the 17-year-old ..."
"CMS directed Duke to make patient-safety changes following an August 31 incident in which a premature infant suffered burns from heated air in an incubator."

"The ICN [neonatal intensive care] incidents followed two other reported cases at the hospital involving children... a heart/lung transplant case in February and an accidental flash fire in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in June that resulted in burns to a child."

John Bruce said...

(1) Mensch is Yiddish, from German for "human being" or "man" sorta meaning a "solid guy"; in the Yiddish context, someone you'd bring home to mother.

(2) I had a similar experience with Dartmouth's James Wright at an alumni dialog session -- many elite-school presidents come off very, very well in person, which perhaps shouldn't be a surprise. Their management of the press and alumni opinion needs work, though. If you think about it, Brodhead has triangulated his way through an extraordinarily difficult personal political situation. If he'd seemed to tilt too far toward the lacrosse team last spring, he might well have had a "no confidence" vote from a faculty stirred up by the 88. He will continue to step carefully through a minefield. If you think about it, it is not in Duke's interest to boot a president out over something like this, and the president should actually not be getting too involved in this stuff, which is dean and provost material, since it involves student policy, discipline, etc.

Same for the faculty -- this is dean and department chair stuff, IF action is a good idea. My guess is it would create more discord and bad animus than it would help. Best to let it die down, slowly terminate the non-tenured, and let the tenured have their lifetime sinecures.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who posts a blog suggesting objectivity and does not make the simple for any amateur ideological connection between Brodhead and the 88 is risking the loss of traction toward that purpose.

It is fairly clear in the archives that Brodhead was no less cynical in his motivations toward the 46 students . Nifong had an election to serve in using the 46 and Brodhead his Cult of 88 and Robert Steel's brand identification agenda .

One would expect an objective blogger to be able to penetrate the fog of erudition but perhaps is far too concerned with his own to care .

Anonymous said...

I am a Duke grad and I also attended the event. In fact, the only reason I attended was for the Q&A session. To respond to several folks who asked if tough questions were raised, I can confirm that there was not a single question about the LAX situation during the Q&A session (though perhaps someone discussed it more privately with him over coffee later in the evening). There was a large audience and a relatively short time for Q&A (I estimate 15 or 20 minutes), and though at first not many hands went up by the time Broadhead picked the last question, lots of hands were going up. The short time may account for the absence of those questions. However, I sensed that Broadhead was well coached, as he pursued what seemed an excellent strategy of spending his first 15 minutes primarily on the LAX situation (he dove right in with his breath), and finished that part of his discussion by saying in effect "I'll take any question you have later on during the Q&A." By acknowledging the big elephant in the room right up front, and by saying he won't hide from the situation, I think he disarmed those who might have otherwise spoken up (even if they didn't think he provided a satisfactory analysis in his opening remarks). He set a collegial, friendly, open and generally pleasant tone, and I think folks just accepted that. I otherwise can't account for the absence of any questions on LAX, since I presume I was not the only person attending primarily to hear what he had to say on the LAX situation. I received the list of questions that was handed out (KC -- was that you?), and was eager to hear someone else raise one or more of them, but I personally was not prepared to stand up and change the pleasant tone of the evening. I'd be interested in hearing if others who attended felt the same way.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what went through Brodhead's mind when he saw that new bow tie. One possiblity, "Uh-oh, I am going to be nifonged!".

Granddad said...

President Brodhead again defends his actions on the flawed premise that he was "forced to act upon radically imperfect information".

In fact, once he had justifiably suspended part of the lacrosse season, there was no compelling immediate need for further action. He could have, and should have, deliberately preserved his options as events unfolded until there was more certainty.

Instead, he bought into Nifong's self-serving story and yielded to the exaggerated cry of a strident minority of the faculty that this team was out of control. In a knee-jerk rush to judgment, he suspended player McFayden, canceled the rest of the season and fired Coach Pressler, clearly choosing political expediency over reasoned adjudication.

Those condemning actions gave credence to Nifong's media blitz in the court of public opinion and intensified the avalance of publicity.

Brodhead now seeks to avoid accountability for those actions by blaming them on Nifong. That is irresponsiblie and unfortunate.

In my opinion, Brodhead flunked crisis management 101 and needs to admit it.

A proud Duke lacrosse grandparent.
G. Holman King
Granbury, Texas

Bakerman said...

Re: 1) "If—understandably—the University had to act upon “radically imperfect information,” why did Brodhead decline at least two offers from defense sources to give the University access to the entire discovery file?"

Broadhead's (et al) refusal was a clever, calculated move, which allowed him -and the university- to proceed imperfectly.

Which leads them now to rest on Duke's laurels as the anticipated option - a far better position than having acted badly based on more perfect information.

Meanwhile, it seems there's an even bigger rat afoot, and it's tracks lead from Duke to the NC Bar via the state capital building - it's sneaking expediently toward the "greater good."

Anonymous said...

Brodhead is a trimmer, that species of political academic who gets to the top and stays there the same way most politicians do. A basic lack of integrity and a good sense for which way the wind is blowing allows him to shift and bend without breaking. What was needed in this case, particularly early on, was the opposite: someone to stand firmly behind these students in the name of the presumption of innocence and in the face of rash and unreasonable calls to crucify them. He did not stay neutral at the beginning. Unfortunately for him, he backed the wrong horse and now he is being "reasonable". He should go... now.

Anonymous said...

Rhodesian Farmer(s) = Zimbabwe Farming

Duke Gang of 88 Faculty = Duke CCI Initiatives/Education

Duke Students/Alumni = ?

Anonymous said...

Well, to all of you that went, how did you like your silly flash drive with Brodhead's picture on the first slide? I am assuming they gave out the same party favors up North that they gave out in CLT.

Anonymous said...

To just put the fraudulent DUKE rape hoax, which still has three DUKE students/alumni facing 30 years, “behind us” is worse than placing ones head in a hole. It ignores the screams for justice and does nothing to cure/expose the frauds teaching race/gender/class warfare hate courses.

The questions are; is this mild erosion of standards, driven by the Gang of 88 and the frauds, or is it a free fall into a world of mediocrity?

To suggest the Gang of 88 doesn't have significant sway is myopic. In spite of their actions, they were awarded Departmental status on the heel of their unforgivable bigoted and racist actions.

Duke alumni need to make a conscious decision that either allows the school to erode into mediocrity without leadership or do something about it - now. A rare opportunity to differentiate Duke from all others that in academic free-fall, and not a worrisome media event. One could make the case that the Gang of 88’s efforts to pollute the minds of our future are far more dangerous than N. Korea.

The notion that Brodhead should delegate these minor issues to others also is myopic. The brand has been diminished largely because of his lack of leadership.

Who is counseling this leadership team?

"If not us, who?" If not now, when?"

Gary Packwood said...

Granddad 12:22

You hit the nail on the head and I understood everything you said on the first reading.

Thank You

Gary Packwood
Houston, Texas

Anonymous said...

2:28 PM said: "To suggest the Gang of 88 doesn't have significant sway is myopic. In spite of their actions, they were awarded Departmental status on the heel of their unforgivable bigoted and racist actions."

Now that some of the 88 have Department status, they will have the power to promote and to select new faculty hires in the department. It is rare for an administration to reject faculty appointments made by departments.

Would the University dare to be chary with funds for new appointments in this new department? It would be very politically incorrect to do so. Will Wahneeba be promoted to full professor?

Anonymous said...

Granddad 12:22

I am just so sick and tired of hearing the LAX players and their families and friends criticize Brodhead for not doing a good enough job of digging their children and grandchildren out of the mess they created. If it were not for the poor judgment and irresponsible behavior of your grandson and his teammates, there would be no LAX mess. Yet you have the gall to come on here and point the finger of blame at Brodhead. When people engage in risky behavior such as inviting strippers into their house, sometimes things will blow up on them and they will be hit with bad consequences that they did not anticipate, like when a drunk driver thinks he can make it home, but he ends up killing someone. You talk about how others have not acknowledged the mistakes they made in this fiasco, but the players also have not acknowledged their mistakes, other than by including a one sentence expression of regret in one statement made by the captains of the team, which represented less than .0000001% of all the comments the players have made about the LAX case and which I am sure we can all therefore agree was just a pro forma apology, sort of like Brodhead's pro forma defense of due process. Instead, what I mainly hear coming from the players and their families and friends is a bunch of rationalizations to the effect that everybody drinks and everybody hires strippers, and because everybody does these things, our boys did nothing wrong and are really just innocent victims, coupled with pointing the finger at Brodhead and others. When are the players going to stand up and acknowledge their mistakes and the damage they have done to a great institution in a sincere and heartfelt manner instead of just demanding apologies from or the firing of others whose only real sin is that perhaps they did not do the most perfect possible job of cleaning up the mess created by the players?

hman said...

To 4:42
KC Johnsons article on Brodhead raised the interesting question of why Duke officials(ie Brodhead) refused at an early date an offer from the defense side to review the entire case file so that "Duke" would not continue to be lost in a such a fog of "imperfect information."
When the defense lawyers offered to present strong exculpatory evidence to Nifong the DA, he also refused to be shown it.
M. Nifong is in a lot of trouble for this and other misdeeds and may go to prison for his handling of this case - you know, the one the LAX guys caused to happened by under-aged drinking and hiring strippers. Anyway, Nifong obviously refused to be told about exonerating evidence because he already knew the LAX guys were innocent and did not want his false-accusation-train to be slowed down by that sort of thing. (No other rational explanation exists).
So, why was Brodhead so eager to avoid being shown, on the record, just how solidly established was the actual innocence of the students of his that were accused?
Here is an answer you will not like but is nonetheless un-avoidable - He wanted to be able to go on pretending in public that they might be guilty. And he could not get away with that if allowed himself to be exposed to the actual evidence in this case - all of which even at an early date exonerated the LAX guys.
So, this is the type of leader you have chosen to support - one who willfully avoids information that might inhibit his ability to slander some kids in his own institution who are on trial for their lives.
Only in Durham.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's job is to investigate the facts and determine whether a crime was committed--it was his job to review the defense's information and he refused. Duke probably declined to review the defense information because they felt, as they said many times, that they should not get involved with the legal issues. If they reviewed the lax defense attorneys' information, then that would set a precedent for the next time a student is charged with a crime, and that students' attorneys could demand that the university review their evidence. I don't think Duke's declining the defense attorneys' offer to review exculpatory information says anything except they believe they have to have a policy and stick to it. And they do.

hman said...

To 5:39
Merely allowing oneself to be informed is not an intrusion into the legal realm of things. And given the blizzard of attention that was howling around this case, should it not have seemed valuable to the institution, at some level, to be apprised as to how this was going to play out?
And so what if in the future some accused student "demanded" that the school look at exonerating evidence. Indeed, recall that Duke kicked the kids off campus on the basis being presented with one set of facts and tried to re-instate them when more facts came into view. Their status as persons accused-of-felonies did not change at all.
The thing is, all of the facts that suddenly seemed to become so important to duke this fall were well known around here by the early summer.
One problem with trying to present to the world the appearance of "balance" between truth and lies is that it can get you in trouble when people find just exactly when you knew better.

Anonymous said...

To 5:39 PM

I agree with your analysis. The problem with examining the defense file is that it puts you in the middle of a criminal prosecution. I assume that the reason why the defense lawyers or the families wanted Brodhead to examine the file is because they were trying to pressure him into making public statements on behalf of the accused players in an effort to get the charges dismissed before trial, all of which also obviously has the effect to putting Duke in the middle of a criminal prosecution. Finally, even if he did examine the defense file, he does not necessarily have a complete picture of the evidence unless he also examines the prosecution file, and there is no indication anywhere that Nifong was willing to allow Brodhead to examine the prosecution file. The reason for not examining the file suggested by 5:27 PM, which he described as unavoidable, is not only very easily avoidable but is downright ludicrous.

hman said...

To 6:05
The reason for showing Brodhead the files was not to pressure him into publically attacking the proscecution; it was to pressure him into stop saying things like "whatever they did was bad enough."
And, by the way, the defense files and the proscecution files were the same unless there was on-going prosecutorial misconduct. In NC, the DA must turn over all that he has. Nifongs failure to do this is one reason he seems headed towards disbarment or worse.
If Duke did not in some sense accept being in the middle of this why did they kick the LAX guys off campus? And then invite them back, all on the basis of information regarding the status of the legal evidence in this case?
Whenever someone avoids being told relevant, important facts, it is time to get ready to see some more rotten behaviour.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of going over the same ground. The LAX guys were not kicked off campus. The two indicted players were suspended pursuant to a long-standing policy that says that any student charged with a felony will automatically be suspended from the university until the charges are resolved.

rdubose said...

To 7:13
The students are still under indictment for crimes of violence yet Duke recently offered to take them back. So, what is the policy to which you refer?
The difference between being "kicked off campus" and suspended from school and told not to appear on campus is what exactly?
I guess it is indeed wearying to keep "going over the same ground" but perhaps it would be less so if you knew where the tripping vines were located.

hman said...

To 7:13
Really, what is the difference between being kicked off campus and being told to go stay from it?
I have heard before about this so called policy regarding felony accusations but what is meant by resolution seems to vary with official attitudes towards the accused.
If any of Dukes actions towards these kids was motivated by concern for their well being they would have accepted their input on this matter.

hman said...

To 7:13
Really, what is the difference between being kicked off campus and being told to go stay from it?
I have heard before about this so called policy regarding felony accusations but what is meant by resolution seems to vary with official attitudes towards the accused.
If any of Dukes actions towards these kids was motivated by concern for their well being they would have accepted their input on this matter.

Anonymous said...

To hman:

I am not saying there is a difference between being suspended and being kicked off campus. I am instead quibbling about the implication of your comment. When you ask "why did they kick the LAX guys off campus," it sounds as if you are suggesting that Duke kicked the entire LAX team off campus, or that it kicked most of the LAX players off campus, which is false. What it did was suspend two students who had been indicted for a felony, and it did this pursuant to a long-standing policy which states that any student charged with a felony will automatically be suspended from the university until the charges are resolved. To me, the phrase "suspending two students who have been indicted for a felony" is different from the phrase "why did they kick the LAX guys off campus." You seem to be suggesting either that there should be no such policy and that Duke should routinely allow any student who has been indicted for a felony to remain on campus until he is actually convicted of a crime or that Duke should have started sifting through the prosecution and defense files and making its own decision as to the guilt or innocence of the LAX players in advance of trial. I disagree. I think that the policy of suspending students who have been charged with a felony is a very reasonable policy, and I do not think that Duke should be injecting itself into the criminal justice process, reviewing prosecution and defense files, and making its own decisions about guilt or innocence in advance of trial because it shows disrespect for the process. In this case, Duke did eventually offer to reinstate the two indicted players in advance of trial because after properly deferring to the criminal justice process for several months, it became apparent to practically everyone that this prosecution was bogus and that offering to reinstate the players was the right thing to do. In other words, when Brodhead made the decision to reinstate the two players, he in effect was slapping Nifong and the City of Durham in the face, something that he quite understandably did not want to do without being very, very careful since Duke has to operate in Durham and is dependent on the city for many things, such as building permits, approvals for the development of Central Campus, and so forth. You can argue all day long about whether he should have slapped Nifong and the city in the face sooner. To me, it is a judgment call and I think he acted in a very proper manner.

To rdubose:

In response to your tripping vine comment, shove it.

Anonymous said...

11:03 What about firing the coach, canceling the season, and flunking players based upon the color of their jersey? And, what about access to the dorm rooms, encouraging them not to seek legal counsel, and publicly assailing them for not coming forward, when they knew they had?

This is a complete and total lack of leadership, transparency, and governance. In any other setting the board would be replaced, the President and his supporters fired, and the Gang of 88 prosecuted.

It is not just about suspending two students for having felony charges against them. Which, by the way begs the question as to whether that policy can stand given that any prostitute who manufacturers a meta-narrative can then force suspension. Truely craziness, from a place that purports to be thought leaders.

Anonymous said...

Permit me to go off topic - but I think in a timely and appropriate way. I just came back from the Duke/Maryland lacrosse game in College Park. It was well attended, and Duke dismantled a very good Maryland team, 14-7. The Duke fans (and parents) who attended were wonderful - knowing that Maryland's squad was very good and yet appreciating the very disciplined and focused effort Duke brought to the field. The team was every bit the antithesis of the hooligans that they were falsely painted to be in 2006. A super disciplined effort - Maryland was never in the game and Matt Danowski was simply electrifying - pouncing on every tiny Maryland error and showing extreme situational awareness. Especially nice was the moment when the Duke women's team arrived in their uniforms (they are playing Maryland tomorrow), and the Duke fans stood up and gave them a standing ovation. Corny it may sound, but the support for both teams was truly heartwarming. These kids are just great representatives to the school. You can just see it - made me proud to be part of the Duke tradition. By the way, there were a minority of Maryland fans who made ugly comments and held insulting signs. Of course, top flight athletes try to keep their fans from pulling these stunts because no better source of motivation obtains. But to be fair most Maryland fans appeared to really know lacrosse, and appreciated the fine and precise effort of the Duke squad. A local high school coach who has been coaching lacrosse for years was sitting next to me (I was a scholarship athlete at Duke in the early 80's but unfortunately don't have deep knowledge of lacrosse) commented that if Duke isn't the best team in the country this year, he doesn't know who could be better. A great way to end a chilly night in College Park. Again, I know, a bit off topic, but just had to relay the news.

Anonymous said...

To 11:48 PM:

It is late, and I want to go to bed, so I will be brief. Fire Pressler: his team put Duke right smack in the middle of the biggest public relations nightmare in its entire history; when a team creates those kinds of problems, the coach takes the fall; in effect, Pressler was sandbagged by his players. Cancel Season: same answer. Flunk Players: one allegation by one student against one teacher which has not yet been proven to be true and which is being contested by the professor and the university; Brodhead not involved. Access to Dorm Rooms: not clear anyone at Duke was aware of this in advance; I read that police slipped into dorm behind a female student who opened the door with her Duke Card. Legal Counsel: as I understand it, that advice was given to the players by Pressler apparently after discussion with Sue Wasiolek at a very early date when it looked like no charges would be filed; Brodhead was not involved. Publicly Assailing Players For Not Coming Forward: not true; at his press conference on March 28, Brodhead stated in front of local and national media that the players had cooperated with the police investigation and that the captains of the team had given lengthy statements to the police without counsel being present; I believe the videotape of this press conference is still posted on the Duke and WRAL websites.

hman said...

To 12:22AM
Well, you know, after extensive discovery (the kind available in a Federal civil rights lawsuit) we will all know a lot more about this.

Anonymous said...

"the team put Duke right smack in the middle of the biggest public relations nightmare in its entire history; when a team creates those kinds of problems, the coach takes the fall; in effect, Pressler was sandbagged by his players. Cancel Season: same answer".

How did the team do this? It was a prostitute who (apparently) made a false accusation of rape against members of the team that "put Duke right smack in the middle of the biggest public relations nightmare in its entire history". If she hadn't, we wouldn't be talking about this now. No one would.

You seem to demand that people be VERY careful in their judgements of Brodhead, while you are VERY sloppy in your comments on the players. Brodhead seriously over-reacted at the beginning, showing bad judgement and weakness. He should admit his mistakes and stand down.

hman said...

I see Brodhead in this matter taking on roughly the same role as N. Chamberlain in relation to the 3rd Reich. The mistake they both made was to willfully ignore evidence of the truly reptilian character of the men they were dealing with.
In both cases, the main reason for this willful blindness was that the cost of acknowledging the reality of the problem would have forced them into undertaking the sort of actions they were un-used to and that would likely have cost them their careers to have pursued.
If N. Chamberlain had led an allied coalition in military action against Hitler in say, 1937-38, it would have gone down in history as a colosal mistake. Because how, after all, could he have proven it was really necessary? Just saying, "But he was Hitler for G-ds sake" would not have meant much since the war and the mass killings would have been pre-empted from entering history.
Brodhead could have been up-front and straight foward regarding "innocent until proven guilty" and "treat our kids with righteous due process" but it undoubtedly occurred to him that doing so could easily cost him his career. If there turned out to be modicum of actual guilt for the 3 accused he could expect to be hounded unmercifully by the pot banging brigade.
In both cases, these leaders became exasperated as others kept yelling at them to do the right thing - because Chamberlain and Brodhead suspected that doing the right thing was very dangerous for them and they had not signed on to do dangerous things. No, they are nice guys who want only to live in a nice world - and if some innocent LAX players (or some small countries) for whom they are responsible have to persish to maintain that illusion then so be it.

Anonymous said...

To 1:08 AM:

Obviously, the team did this by organizing the party and inviting the strippers to attend. The accuser never would have been able to make false accusations against the three accused players if the captains of the team had not organized the party and invited her to attend. I am amazed at how the LAX team apologists continue to stonewall this very simple but very obvious fact and continue to pretend that the players had nothing to do with creating this mess. No party = No LAX mess.

hman said...

To 2:43
Yeah, and everyone who gets mugged is at fault for leaving their house. No walking equals no mugging.
Parties and strippers are legal, by the way..
Somehow I think that if you were the one starring down the barrel of a 30 year sentence for a crime that never even happened you would not, in a million years, say what you say here about others.

Anonymous said...

To hman:

Your 1:03 AM comment is a great example of the kind of smug but stupid comment that does not really mean anything. You seem to be suggesting that Duke has somehow violated the civil rights of the LAX players and that it will be required to pay them big money as compensation, but only a fanatic would hold that view. You remind me of Walter Abbott who actually sent letters and made telephone calls to the Attorney General of the United States asking him to launch an investigation of Duke on the ground that it had violated the civil rights of its students because some guy in the Athletics Department would not allow Students For An Ethical Durham to set up a voter registration table at one of the football games. How did that turn out? As you know, the Justice Department told Walter Abbott to get lost.

Anonymous said...

To hman:

Your 2:58 PM comment really left me scratching my head because your logic is not nearly as compelling as you seem to think. There is a big difference between walking out the door of your house, which all of us do everyday and which we really must do in order to function in the world, and inviting strippers into your house, which none of us is required to do and which constitutes risky behavior. A better analogy would be that if you decide to walk down a dark street in a tough neighborhood in the middle of the night and you end up getting mugged, then your poor judgment in walking down that street at that time was obviously an important factor that led to the bad result of your being mugged. By the same token, the decision of the captains of the LAX team to invite strippers to their party was obviously an important factor that led to the bad result of the LAX mess.

Anonymous said...

You accuse the so-called LAX player "apologists" of not acknowledging their culpability in this "mess" because they invited a prostitute to their home. Yet you have said nothing in these recent messages about HER culpability. Why? She filed a false charge of rape and (apparently) lied about it repeatedly. How many young 20-somethings have parties that involve prostitutes every year? 1000s, or would you say tens of 1000s? So what? THAT is not why this became such a headline-grabbing scandal. Who would even raise an eyebrow over something like that these days? The scandal arose because she made a false accusation and various interests then pounced on the opportunity to crucify these young men. You excuse Brohead, you ignore the prostitute, you blame the athletes, and you brush off the sacking of the coach. (An entirely innocent man in all this, as far as I can tell.) You have no sense of proportion (and therefore of fairness).

Anonymous said...

The reason why I have not said anything about the accuser is because her culpability is obvious. To me, the culpability of the various actors in this fiasco in descending order is (1) the false accuser for making the false accusation, (2) Nifong for trying to use the case to promote his own political career thereby unjustly inflicting enormous pain on the three indicted players and their families, (3) the captains of the LAX team for organizing the party and hiring the strippers, (4) Ryan McFadyen for sending out a vile and disgusting email which turned out to be the straw that broke the camels back and led directly to the firing of Pressler and the cancellation of the season, (5) the players who shouted the racial epithets in public thereby making it appear that students at Duke are racists. Brodhead and the other administrators at Duke are only culpable in the sense that once the mess was dumped in their laps by the LAX players, the false accuser, and Nifong, and they were all put on the hot seat in front of a national television audience, they did not do a perfect job of cleaning up the mess, but none of us is perfect. On balance, I think it is quite obvious that the LAX players are much more culpable than Brodhead, but the LAX team apologists keep trying to ignore or minimize what the players have done while pointing the finger of blame at Brodhead. Obviously, they are doing this in an attempt to avoid responsibility for their actions and deflect the blame to others. The reason why I keep focusing the spotlight on the players is because you guys keep trying to focus the spotlight on Brodhead while portraying the players as innocent victims, and I think that is inaccurate and unfair.

hman said...

To 6:02
For the culpability you attach to the LAX team to have any meaning, it seems to me that there should be some kind of foreseeableness regarding the false accusations. So tell us, how often, in your experience, or in all of history, does inviting a stripper to a party lead to a false accusation of rape? I think I am on good ground when I say it has never happened before, anywhere. Indeed, of all the categories of women least likely to falsely accuse men of rape strippers would have to be near the top of the list.
Given this, tell us again how the LAX team should have foreseen this trouble???
As for the public yelling of racial insults the only basis for believing that that happened is a cell-phonecall made by Kim Roberts in which she made other documented mis-statements. On the other hand, the idea that it happened is apparently so satisfying to some people that they will never let go of it.
As to the email; it is only vile if dragged out of its intended context and intended audience. None of the folks to whom it was addressed thought it vile. So, why butt in? If Duke admininistration lost its nerve at that point it is only because they were already more terrified of the pot-bangers than of the damaged done by abandoning due process for their students.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with 6:02--We all believe the rape is a hoax, and the accuser is culpable, but the lax players DID have a role in setting this up, and many try to ignore that. They may be good representatives of Duke now (and I'm sure they are) but they weren't really great representatives a year ago. yes, I know they had a 3.2 GPA, but they were also known to be the wildest partiers on campus. They were known to take the easiest courses. Were they worse that other kids? Not necessarily, and obviously they didn't deserve to be falsely accused. But they were hard drinking, sometimes obnoxious entitled athletes--and not angels. At least one made a racist comment that cannot be excused no matter what was said first.

I assume they've learned a hard lesson from this.

rdubose said...

To 6:57
re: Lessons learned.
1. Only a fool trusts the police or a DA. Get a good lawyer before you let them in.
2. Take lots of timed-stamped pictures when around psychologically unstable females.
3. Large institutions are inherently amoral unless given reasons to be afraid of you.
These probably were not the ones you had in mind but that is the problem with trying to "teach a lesson" to folks who are actually innocent of what you charge them with.

Anonymous said...

To hman:

I will ignore the arrogant and condescending tone of your post and simply say that I do not accept your premise that the LAX players are culpable only if they could have or should have foreseen that inviting strippers to their party would lead to false accusations of rape. This is an extremely low standard of conduct under which people could engage in all kinds of risky behaviors and then just blow off responsibility for the bad consequences of those behaviors by saying there was no way they could foresee those consequences. To me, when you engage in risky behavior, you expose yourself to the risk that something bad and unexpected may result from that behavior, and that is exactly what happened here. The LAX players had a reputation on campus for being hard drinkers and hard partiers. Last March, during spring break, the captains of the LAX team decided to organize a little get together so the team could do some more hard drinking and hard partying, and they thought it might be fun to invite a couple of strippers to the party to provide entertainment for the team. This is risky behavior, and unfortunately, the party blew up in their faces and ended with three members of the team being accused of rape. For you and others like you to post messages on this website which seek to portray the LAX players as innocent victims in this situation while pointing the finger of blame at Brodhead and the Duke Administration is complete nonsense, and as long as you keep trying to spin it this way, I will be here to set the record straight.

Anonymous said...

To deny that some of the players made racist comments is ridiculous. The next door neighbor overheard the cotton shirt comment and reported it to the police, and I believe that even KC Johnson has acknowledged in one of his posts that one of the players used the n word.

Anonymous said...

12:22 Inre: Public relations nightmare. It didn't need to become one. The lack of leadership and inaction, not getting out front, enabled this to grow into the Leviathan that it became. Where was Brodhead?

Clearly not out front.

Anonymous said...

2:43 No cars, no car wrecks is no defense for the fraud perpetrated.

Holding the coach responsible for lying Durham prostitutes is not the wise course, as I'm sure we'll all find out.

The long and short of it is Brodhead is not a leader, cow-tows to a vocal and evil minority, and needs to stick his finger in the air to determine right from wrong.

His silence is deafening, his granting Departmental status to AAAs is unforgiveable. His lack of leadership is leading Duke in the race to the bottom.

Anonymous said...

8:56 Do you consider it risky behavior to have faculty encouraging the New Black Panthers?

Do you consider it risky behavior that some teach hook-up and other sexuality babble that leads to negative health outcomes?

You dance in the world of moral relativism and not reality.

A leader leads when the winds rise; Brodhead has gone below.

hman said...

To 8:56
If drinking lots of beer, making too much noise, and hiring strippers as a form of recreation is going to be described as risky then at least we should keep in mind what kind of risk that entails.
Getting busted for a noise violation, under-aged drinking, or maybe being bored if the stripper is fat/ugly seems fair. I bet that the LAX guys would not really have bitched too loudly if those things had happened. Buy the ticket, take the ride...
On the other hand, drinking, being noisy, and hiring strippers does not usually(on this planet) lead to bogus felony charges.
I cannot avoid the suspicion that when you say "risky behaviour" you really mean immoral behaviour of the sort that should be punished with cosmic vengence - with no pretense of porportionality. Which leads me to think that, in your mind, the real crime committed by these guys was that they were having more fun than you ever did. So if they happen to fall into the grip of a fiendish, reptilian, dishonest DA intent on ruining their lives for corrupt reasons the primitive jealous thing inside you starts twitching wth happiness.
I bet you will hate it when Nifong turns out to be the one who is terminally gutted by this.
As for Brodhead, he will spend the rest of his life trying to explain and defend actions that will only look worse and worse as time goes by.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand why you are letting Brodhead off the hook so lightly. The LAX players committed (at worst) a minor lapse of judgement (and taste) of the kind that must occur 10s of 1000s of times every year on American university campuses. Brodhead is the powerful head of a leading US university well PAID for his judgement in such situations. He should be held to a very high standard commensurate with his position and power. The LAX players are young men like almost any other, who hold no office, wield no power and have their futures ahead of them. You are excessively harsh in your assessment of them, and explicably let Brodhead off lightly. He showed HIGHLY questionable judgement at a crucial point. But "nobody's perfect" you seem to say. Indeed, but he's PAID (well paid) for his good judgement. Without it, he's nothing. He should resign.

Anonymous said...

I meant "inexplicably"...

Anonymous said...

By the way, why is hiring the services of a stripper "reckless behaviour"? Can you spell out in more detail what's so reckless about it? Is it reckless because it is morally repugnant and therefore likely to prove explosive if exposed? But this is the 21st century, and it happens ALL the time. Is it because strippers are inherently dangerous creatures? In general, that's hardly the case. Is it because it is illegal? But it is an anachronistic "crime" honoured more in the breach than in the observance. No one really cares about that. So wherein lies this "recklessness" that condemns the LAX players so severely? It is not apparent.

Anonymous said...

If anyone engaged in risky behaviour, it was Brodhead. He joined in the rush to judgement early on. That was a mistake. He took a risk and lost. Out he should go...

Anonymous said...

Since ANY woman can file a charge of rape against ANY man, it is hardly necessary to hire a stripper to be vulnerable to that charge. The fact that they did so is a canard. It is quite irrelevant. Given that no rape took place, she could have lied that she was raped even if she wasn't a stripper but just a fellow female student. The only "risky behaviour" the LAX players engaged in was... well... being male.