Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Review

Mike Nifong’s chief investigator Linwood Wilson was much in the news last week, after a court hearing in an unrelated case revealed that his penchant for intimidating witnesses extended beyond the lacrosse case.

Several weeks ago, Joe Neff broke the news that Wilson received a 66% raise and a promotion (from coordinator of the DA office’s worthless checks program to the office’s investigator) in the middle of the lacrosse case. It remains unclear what Wilson did to merit this promotion.

A reader also reminded me of the Herald-Sun article announcing Wilson’s hiring, dated January 2, 2006. The article opened with the distinctive prose of John Stevenson: When it comes to collecting worthless checks, the Durham District Attorney's Office has just been reinforced by a bass voice of CD quality, over 6 feet of height and more than 200 pounds of weight.

In a preview of the boorish attitude he would frequently display during the case, Wilson explained why he took the job: “My wife told me I had to get work. If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” Wilson didn’t reveal that he had left his previous employment as a P.I. amidst ethics charges, and that, in a 16-year career as a P.I., Wilson faced what the N&O described as “repeated complaints and at least seven formal inquiries into his conduct.”

Quite interesting, in light of events to come, was Nifong’s description of one reason why he hired Wilson: “He’s big and he can be intimidating if he wants to be.”

Indeed.

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The legislative fallout from the Nifong scandal continues; last week, the state Senate narrowly approved a bill to make district attorney elections non-partisan. Had this system existed in 2006, Mike Nifong almost certainly would have lost: the Republican voters ineligible to vote in the Democratic primary could have cast ballots for Freda Black—who, it’s worth remembering, lost by less than 1000 votes.

The bill—which still needs House approval and support from Governor Mike Easley—was sponsored by Senator Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg). Clodfelter, a former Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School graduate, also has introduced measures to broaden the open discovery statute to close the loopholes exploited by Nifong in the lacrosse case.

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The state’s district attorneys didn’t take a position on Clodfelter’s election bill, but they did vigorously resist his attempts to expand the open discovery statute. Indeed, their goal is the reverse—to make changes in the law that would seem to allow future Mike Nifongs greater leeway.

The Hendersonville Times-News joined the chorus of the state’s editorial boards in opposing the efforts of the Conference of DA’s “to gut the law,” since “as the recent outcome of the Duke rape case shows, that is hardly the direction the state needs to move.”

The DA conference’s efforts also produced a poignant letter to the N&O from Duffy Lincoln, who wrote, “The new discovery law was passed after many convictions were overturned because several DAs were caught lying. This law helped my sister, who although innocent spent five years arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Because the prosecutors were required by law to disclose everything they knew to the defense, my sister’s attorneys were able to adequately defend her. They discovered an SBI DNA lab error, and the DA dropped the pursuit of the death penalty . . . My sister, Leslie Lincoln, was lucky. She was acquitted but spent years languishing in jail waiting for the truth, hidden by prosecutors and police, to be uncovered. Without the 2004 changes in the law, Leslie might be another innocent person on death row.”

And in another letter to the N&O, Lloyd Bailey of Rocky Mount recommended a poison-pill amendment for the Conference of DA’s bill: “If a person is convicted and later found to be innocent because helpful information was withheld by the prosecutor, it should be mandatory that prosecutor serve the remainder of the term—even if it means death. This levels the playing field.”

As Jim Cooney has pointed out, the open discovery law doesn’t exist to regulate ethical DA’s—they already play by the rules. It’s needed to guard against those prosecutors who value winning more than achieving justice.

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With the men’s team advancing to the Final Four, last week featured a variety of thoughtful pieces about members of the team. The Washington Times profiled one of the unsung heroes of this year’s squad, co-captain Eddie Douglas—who teammate Tony McDevitt describes as “probably the smartest kid I’ve ever met.” (Douglas graduated last spring with a degree in biomedical engineering.) Coach John Danowski seconded the praise, terming Douglas “the quintessential student-athlete. He’s sensitive, thoughtful, interested in world issues. It’s just what Duke is about. You couldn’t have planned it any better.”

As the Times’ Patrick Stevens notes, the media attention associated with the season put great pressure on Douglas to serve as a spokesman, a task for which he was remarkably well-suited. Looking back, the Duke graduate student described the year as “an unbelievable learning experience. For Matt [Danowski] and me both, it’s been a challenge at times to stand in front of everyone and deal with a lot of different questions and different issues about the program. It’s also been very rewarding. The opportunity to speak for and stand for such a great group of guys has been great for both of us.”

It’s no surprise that anti-lacrosse extremists on the Duke faculty, such as Orin Starn, don’t want to talk about people like Douglas.

They don’t want to talk about students like McDevitt, either. The first in his family to receive a college degree, McDevitt was the subject of a glowing article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The son of a Teamster, McDevitt recalled, “My parents had four kids at a very young age, and the odds were against them. But they worked their rear ends off so we could have a better life. You know, they taught me when I was younger not to worry about what other people think. But to watch television and read bold-faced lies in the newspapers, making generalizations about me, about our teammates, it hurt at times, no doubt about it. There were times I’d talk to my mom and dad and to some of my friends about how we wished people knew the truth. I tried not to let it bother me too much. Thankfully, that whole thing is in the past.”

John Danowski gushed, “Special is such an overused word in coaching, but Tony is one of those young men who really is special. He’s an excellent student. He’s a worker in the weight room. He wants to lead, and he’s a vocal about it. He’s not flashy. He’s more athletic than he is a lacrosse player sometimes, but he’s tried to do the things we’ve asked him to do this year and he gets better every day. He’s a delight to be around.”

Once again, these are the kind of people Orin Starn, Peter Wood, and the Group of 88 do not want to see at Duke.

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Of course, the spotlight also led to other types of articles. A piece by Rosalind Guy in the Memphis Daily News led off with the following sentence: “The Duke University lacrosse team rape incident a year ago put the national spotlight on an issue that plagues universities all across the nation: sexual assaults on campus.

“Rape incident”? And was Guy suggesting that the “issue that plagues universities all across the nation” is accusers falsely claiming sexual assault? If not, it is difficult to see the relevance of her referencing Duke.

Guy’s conclusion: “Although charges eventually were dropped against the three athletes, the seriousness of sex crimes has not diminished on college campuses.

Meanwhile, on goduke.com, Michael Corey presented the following view of events last spring for the lacrosse team:

The hellfire that was 2006 brought a postponement of the lacrosse team’s ultimate reason for matriculating at Duke in the first place—to learn via sport—as a dastardly misrepresentative of the justice system incited a public pillory of the program and the men therein. A trio was then siphoned away from the team and dumped into the cesspool that was the rhetorical filth being spewed by a rogue District Attorney, and by certain locusts in the media eager to join the schadenfreude, impatience and prejudgment that fueled the feeding frenzy.

Few would argue with Corey’s condemnation of the media and of Nifong. But he seems to have conveniently sidestepped those on Duke’s campus “eager to join the schadenfreude, impatience and prejudgment that fueled the feeding frenzy.” That decision, of course, comes as little surprise: this is the same writer who penned a February article bizarrely suggesting that the two sets of victims in this case were the lacrosse players and the Group of 88(!).

In his previous analysis, Corey critiqued what he termed the “seething” and “shrieking” blog attacks against the Group of 88, while denouncing the “lemmings” and “locusts” who read blogs. The article, I suppose, might have been more persuasive had Corey cited even one blog post that he deemed “seething” and “shrieking.” And an author concerned with “seething” and “shrieking” rhetoric might have been offended by Houston Baker calling the lacrosse players “farm animals.” Or by Bill Chafe arguing that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided the appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players. Or by the Glymph/Lubiano/Sebring panel worrying that things were “moving backwards” on campus when DNA tests came back without a match to any lacrosse player. Or by Grant Farred contending that, by registering to vote in Durham, Duke students were projecting their “secret racism” onto the city.

Corey’s only comment about such professors? He noted sympathetically that their lives were forever changed when they signed the Group of 88’s statement, which subjected them to “seething” and “shrieking” attacks from blogs—from which, of course, he never quoted. No wonder Corey chose not to reference his earlier work on lacrosse matters.

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Meanwhile, several good articles dealing with the fallout from last year’s events. Both Steve Politi in the Newark Star-Ledger and Kevin Armstrong of Sports Illustrated covered the Delbarton-Chamidade game, which featured Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty as dueling assistant coaches.

And Inside Lacrosse broke the news that Duke—with the support of other ACC schools—has petitioned the NCAA to grant the entire team another year of eligibility. The move would be unprecedented—but the argument is a strong one: misconduct by Nifong (aided and abetted by the Herald-Sun, the potbangers, and the Group of 88) so poisoned the atmosphere last spring that the players’ safety couldn’t be guaranteed. The students, therefore, shouldn’t be punished because of a situation initiated by Nifong.

No word on the NCAA’s timetable to make the decision.

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At Friends of Duke, an important update from Jason Trumpbour. He noted that the organization’s “approach was originally premised on the fact that Duke should be a part of that process [of ensuring the players’ innocence], not only for the sake its falsely accused students, but for its own sake. That objective has yet to be realized. Together, with many others, we changed the world around Duke for the better. However, Bob Steel’s most recent letter and the News and Communications Office’s recent attempts at history show the University still singing exactly the same tune it was a year ago.”

Trumpbour correctly noted,

At some point, the administration will have to come to terms with the lacrosse case. It is not going to go away. The incident will be relived countless more times as the many books about it are released. The story is not going to get any better for Duke with each retelling—indeed, quite the opposite. Hopefully, the administration will engage in some self reflection and soul searching so that, if the past cannot be changed, the future will. The University will have opportunities to do this in the near future. Settling the Dowd case fairly was a small step in the right direction. We are not going away yet and will watch events in the coming weeks.
He added an important point with which I—as someone who has met quite a few current and former Duke lacrosse players—strongly agree: “It is worth noting that, to date, the players are the only actors in the entire saga who have expressed any genuine regret for inappropriate behavior on their part and who have been willing to examine themselves with an eye toward improvement. They are better people for this experience and will use what they have learned to make a difference in the world. Who else in all this can say that?”

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Finally, congratulations to the Duke women’s lacrosse team, for another great season. The team had a heartbreaking defeat in the Final Four—losing for the second straight year by a late goal in the national semi-final.

The team was vilified last spring by journalists (Harvey Araton, Stephen A. Smith) and Duke professors (Karla Holloway) alike. Their actions were vindicated; their critics’ judgment was proved wrong. And, of course, columnists and professors who criticized the women’s lacrosse team never apologized.

Kevin Armstrong, who has done a great job covering case-related issues for si.com, has a nicely done article on the Final Four game and Coach Kerstin Kimel, who joins Jim Coleman as the two Duke figures whose performance so stands out in the past 15 months.

Armstrong notes,

It was the women, though, who carried the Duke brand name on the field. When wearing Duke gear was unfashionable, they donned the attire. While the men's faces appeared as headshots and their names scrolled the bottom of the screen on news networks, the women took to the field. Without shoulder pads or facemasks to hide them or offer a buffer zone, they sat in classes listening to professors rail against the lax code of conduct that the lacrosse programs purportedly allowed to fester. All the while, Kimel acted in support of both teams.

"When things were in limbo with the men, Kerstin really stepped up as someone who was really the coach of both teams for a while there," said Mike Pressler via phone on Friday. "Her steadfastness and support were amazing. Players who just needed help would stop in and see her. They knew her strength."

Again: how can it be that Duke not only did not punish professors who engaged in such behavior, but never even spoke to players on the women's and men's lacrosse teams to investigate the matter?

[Update, 11.26am: An excellent comment regarding Coach Kimel:

Should Duke win in the finals on Monday, Kerstin Kimel should feel the pride that anyone does who contributes to creating a championship team.

Pressler recruited and coached the players through 2006, Danowski coached in 2007 and this is no attempt to take away from their feats. But Kimel, suffering the slings and arrows from fools for doing so, put the entire men's team of 2006 on her back and kept them going when the vast majority at Duke either outright condemned them or ignored them.

Kimel still has plenty of time to win a championship of her own, but whether she does or not, she is the model of a winner and a champion.]

Hat tip: K.D., J.G.G.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Support Clodfelter and write your own legislators.

Deklan Singh said...

THE ONLY argument, that stands up to scrutiny, which justifies a position for the G88 as victims in this whole mess is this:

The G88, every last one of them, are complete and utter imbeciles. They are all completely unable to comprehend even the simplest, most basic element of human decency and character. They can neither remember what they have done or find justification for what they want to do. They so utterly oblivious the truths and realities that define the world around them that they may as well be completely removed from it. In short, they are total, utter idiots.

They're getting what they deserve. They made a play. It was the wrong one. Slowly but surely, they're losing their chips.

Anonymous said...

12:16am

Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

My admiration for the Duke lacrosse teams - male and female - is boundless. They were honorable amongst the dishonorable, brave amidst the cowards and truthful against the liars.

God bless each and every one of them.

Anonymous said...

This is the next comment board, but I only just read the last one and I have to point this out, re. the book, "To Kill A Mockingbird".

It is obvious from many of the comments of the previous KC posting that many of you think TKAM is a work of NON-fiction. People, it is fiction!

I will note that my eldest daughter was made to read this book as "non-fiction" in her high school this Spring. Given the intellectual trends of the day, it's likely that in 50 years many people will view KC's and Taylor's upcoming book to be ... fiction.

Friends, educate yourselves, your children, and others, or all is lost.

R.R. Hamilton

Gary Packwood said...

Cheesesteak Tony

Tony McDevitt, the first in his family to receive a college degree and is described by his coach as a delight to be around and special.

And Orin Starn, Peter Wood, and the Group of 88 do not want to see him at Duke.

Perhaps the Duke Alums who are Bloggers might want to remind the G88 that the purpose of the recently completed fund drive was to raise needed funds to bring more people like Tony to Duke.

It is a privilege to read about Tony; his many accomplishments and the respect his teammates and coach show for him.

Get ready G88, it is time to stop with the harassment and learn how to include a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich into the Campus Cultural!

Teamster's kids are on their way to campus and they are not going to put up with your games.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Hamilton,

I think Capote helped Harper Lee write it. Book in many ways was autobiographical, but it was a work of fiction. Lee never published anything else. I suspect that Ralph Ellison received a lot of editorial help on "Invisible Man." He never published anything else worthwhile either.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gary Packwood, for explaining what "dollars to doughnuts" means. That was my posting and I didn't realize some people wouldn't understand its meaning. I guess we have a lot of old sayings like that in Texas.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

re the "dumb theory" about G88

I was flabbergasted when I read Houston Baker's letter to the trustees and Brodhead. Angry racists become even stupider when they get "exercised" over some "evidence" that their people are continually being victimized by white people. Yes, simply being angry will even make a genius stupid.

Bottom line: AAAS was the principal author of the listening statement, and yes--it houses the stupidest professors at Duke--by far. These bottom-feeders will get less and less respect from Duke over time.

They are not important, except to themselves. See "academic ghetto."

Anonymous said...

You'd better believe that the only thing that really bothers the vocal black members of the 88 Gang is that they have been found out.

People have become sick of them. They put themselves into the public spotlight and have been shown to be racist idiots with no morals or ethics or respect for the truth. And now they have no hole left to hide in.
They tried hard to play victims, but it didn't work. They are the VICTIMIZERS and they need to pay for what they have done to the reputation of Duke.
All of us must do what we can to abolish the double standards which have allowed such people to harm others and then hide behind being "black" and use that to tell everyone they cannot be criticized for being what they are--RACIST HARMFUL FOOLS who are way overpaid.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 1:04 AM,

Thanks for the update on Harper Lee's and Ralph Ellison's books. What you say rings true.

KC @ 12:01 AM,

I should be the last person to take the side of the DAs, but I would ask you to be aware that there is a difference between what the DAs "KNOW" about a case ("evidence of the case") and what they "THINK" about case ("theory of the case"). I would say it's fine to show the defense what the DA KNOWS, but NOT what s/he THINKS. Sometimes this info is intertwined. I think fairness to all dictates that the defense need NOT learn before trial what the DA's THEORY of the case will be.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

KC,

Btw, I think this is like the 3rd time I've seen "bold-faced lies" published in your blog.

It's "BALD-faced lies". Probably an allusion to the fact that many believe that people would cover their mouths with their hands or kerchiefs when telling lies.

R.R. Hamilton
Vocab and Spelling Nazi

Anonymous said...

I should clarify that further:

Most people think/thought that people are subconsciously ashamed of their lies, so that they reflexively cover their mouths with their hands, kerchiefs, or something as a result.

A "bAld-face liar" refers to someone who will openly and unashamedly lie. A "bAld-face" lie is a obvious lie told unashamedly.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

KC wrote,

Of course, the spotlight also led to other types of articles. A piece by Rosalind Guy in the Memphis Daily News led off with the following sentence: “The Duke University lacrosse team rape incident a year ago put the national spotlight on an issue that plagues universities all across the nation: sexual assaults on campus.”

“Rape incident”? And was Guy suggesting that the “issue that plagues universities all across the nation” is accusers falsely claiming sexual assault? If not, it is difficult to see the relevance of her referencing Duke.


Guy’s conclusion: “Although charges eventually were dropped against the three athletes, the seriousness of sex crimes has not diminished on college campuses.”


As I've said before, KC, in 50 years, if present trends continue, your book will be put in the "fiction" section of bookstores.

R.R. Hamilton

Legal Eagle said...

Excellent roundup except for one particular word; "future"; "Indeed, their goal is the reverse—to make changes in the law that would seem to allow future Mike Nifongs greater leeway."

Future tends to preclude the present, whereas "other" would be all inclusive. It's not as if there aren't [many] other Nifongs already out here, and accounts for the inside moves to protect them.

Anonymous said...

KC, thanks for another outstanding roundup.

2:44 AM - legal eagle

"It's not as if there aren't [many] other Nifongs already out here, and accounts for the inside moves to protect them."

Bingo.

Anonymous said...

KC and Stuart,

It's true, Duke doesn't seem to "get it". Until Duke creates a "hostile environment" for the 88 (115), WE will create a hostile environment for Duke.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Grant Farred is consistent, and would condemn the 2004 Prairie View, TX students as harboring "secret racism"?
see:

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:f2jA67seRiEJ:chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i22/22a03001.htm+prairie+view%2Bvoter+registration&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us

Anonymous said...

The best comment of the year was the one that recognized that the anagram of "Houston Baker Grant Farred" is "The broken arrogant frauds".

Anonymous said...

Harper Lee's book of fiction is metaphor describing the horrific behavior of the mob- the mob of G88 who wanted the blood of innocent people. The allusions to Emmitt Till reflect a misplaced metaphor the reality of which places the lacross players in the place of Emmitt Till to be victimized by the G88, the MSM and their ilk.

bill anderson said...

Another good roundup, K.C. Indeed, one could not invent these characters.

It seems to me that Linwood Wilson is going to be a central figure in the upcoming investigations -- should anyone in authority bother to investigate. Wilson is a bully, and everyone knows what happens when a bully is pressured: he caves.

My prediction is that Wilson will cave mightily if the right people put on the squeeze. Could not happen to a nicer guy.

Gary Packwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Packwood said...

R.R. Hamilton 1:06 said...

...Thanks Gary Packwood, for explaining what "dollars to doughnuts" means. That was my posting and I didn't realize some people wouldn't understand its meaning. I guess we have a lot of old sayings like that in Texas.
::
You're welcome.

We have another old saying here in Texas that Anger Studies Professions have not yet learned.

"After a brief stint" at the University of Texas in Austin, professor so-in-so moved on to his next job at XXXX University.

Bad mouthing students, The State of Texas, The USA and other faculty... gets you an invitation to move on.

Shall we offer to share that old Texas saying 'After a Brief Stint' with the administration of Duke with respect to their Anger Studies Pin-Heads?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings on the NCAA petition for an extra year of eligibility. I think the kids absolutely deserve it. Does the school? Hardly. I also find it hard to believe that the team makes the finals and suddenly the school is all about the extra year of eligibility. Is coach Pressler going to get an extra year of eligibility? There are consequences for our actions and this school hardly did anything for those boys last year.

KFinns

xutag77 said...

Why should the Duke students get an additional year of eligibility. This is just a way out for Duke to deflect responsibility for this lack of action in causing the unsafe situation in the first place.

In addition, how is this fair for other teams playing Duke with players who are year older and stronger.

Many actions that are happening today are being driven by legal concerns. It is too late for apologies in many cases as they are just an admission of guilt.

Anonymous said...

Haha- obviously I was not the only one thinking that at the same exact time this morning.
K Finns

scott said...

Should Duke win in the finals on Monday, Kerstin Kimel should feel the pride that anyone does who contributes to creating a championship team.

Pressler recruited and coached the players through 2006, Danowski coached in 2007 and this is no attempt to take away from their feats. But Kimel, suffering the slings and arrows from fools for doing so, put the entire men's team of 2006 on her back and kept them going when the vast majority at Duke either outright condemned them or ignored them.

Kimel still has plenty of time to win a championship of her own, but whether she does or not, she is the model of a winner and a champion.

Anonymous said...

What is Wilson's salary after the 66% raise?

Is he still on the payroll?

What were the reasons for such a large increase?

Jamil hussein said...

Something good comes out of this mess:

Lacrosse case leaving mark in courts

The judicial system has a hangover. Call it the Mike Nifong effect.

In North Carolina and across the country, prosecutors with upright reputations are having to make assurances that they don't break the rules. Judges and lawyers have taken to using Nifong's name and the outcome of the sexual assault case against Duke University lacrosse case players as a shorthand for all manner of prosecutorial outrages. The case has made it harder for prosecutors nationwide to get funding or laws changed.

Jack said...

To gary packwood @1:04 am

“Teamster's kids are on their way to campus and they are not going to put up with your games.”

Laudable, but highly unlikely. Duke is not in the business of reaching down the social ladder with a welcoming hand, never has been. Minority admissions are a carefully calculated segment of the student body, many coming in the form of prominent, wealthy non-US citizens, diplomats’ children, others are carefully screened for fit and finish. Working class whites, like Tony McDevitt, are the exception, few and far between. Tony is at Duke to play lacrosse, a hired hand. He will make the best of it, hopefully, and parlay his education and the connections it brings into a constructive, productive and personally satisfying life.

A reading of the NY Times Style section today gives a better glimpse of a typical Duke graduate (unlike those on this board in a snit over biased reporting, no symbolic subscription cancellation from me). I find interesting the Times’ carefully chosen announcements of who’s being married or joined in a commitment ceremony. It is a great lesson in the editors’ view of the social order. A key component in each individual announcement is who went where to college; the listing features a wildly disproportionate number of schools at or near the top of the US News rankings, more evidence of the superficiality of the entire college application and admissions process, but, I digress. Several Duke graduates are listed today, and they are anything but children of Teamsters. One bridegroom is to become an associate at Skadden Arps, a major rain maker among NY law firms. His mother is vice chair of the Department of Medicine at NY-Presbyterian Hospital/ Cornell Medical Center; dad is a clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center, and former president of the American Neuropsychiatric Association. Truck drivers they are not. Another bride listed today, before earning her MBA at Penn/Wharton, also graduated from Duke. Her father is president and chief anesthesiologist at a clinic in Ohio. Her mother ? Why, she is, of all things, an anesthesiologist, as well! Don’t get me wrong, these may be fine people, and the Dukies will work hard at their careers and live, and their success may be well earned. And while every parent (or many, particularly blue collars and graduates of lesser colleges) has aspirations for their kids beyond their own achievements, the average Duke graduate today will have a high bar to clear.

So, unless they play a sport very well, or possess a quality that brings tangible, direct, near term benefit to Duke University, don’t expect to see a flood Teamsters’ children, or kids from Chicago’s South Side, or other intelligent, academically strong students of average means.

Anonymous said...

Just to challenge the statements about Harper Lee.

I think Harper Lee actually helped Truman Copote write his books, not the other way around. Perhaps that is why she did not publish again under her own name.

Same for Zelda and F. Scott.

Cedarford said...

KC - Over at the Liestopper's Blog, a contributor named JSwift compiled a remarkably good and concise list of questions that should be asked in an independent police investigation.

http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?showtopic=3628

I wrote that his list should be shared with parties outside the Liestoppers blog and hopefully get to the announced "Chiefs" investigation and to state prosecutors.

If you have time, could you look at JSwift's product and if you like it, hopefully comment on it and forward it to your contacts???

My best wishes.
Hope the Nifong Trial is a satisfying experience for you and Stuart. Is that how the book ends??

Anonymous said...

Kc...thankx for posting the Jason Trumpbour update...which of course is EXACTLY what we long ago argued here with all the same rationale he used

the Duke INCIDENT is as important an issue for college athletics going all the way to the Naismith days

this time its the DUKE UNIVERSITY that is cohoots with the perpetrators as the gamblers were with the early basketball players and coaches

Duke and the Group of 88 had taken sides AGAINST the team, and cancelling the season without factual justification of its own investigation is no different than the scandals in athletics that lead to the NAACP formation

it is UNPRECEDENTED that a college would side with an alleged a felonious accusier without a single day of investigation and EVENTHEMORESO, to APPEASE a MOB of 88 PROFESSORS, who didnt do one iota of investigation, to PUBLISH A manifesto that HARMED the schools reputation and DIRECTED students to take MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS

the idea comes to mind of 88 brains and 10000s pairs of student and radical hands attacking the duke team coach players and three individuals WITH WORDS

as the NAISMITH ERA cried out for investigations of the relationship between gamblers and players,so to THE DUKE GROUP OF 88 equally crys out that THEY, "THE MOB" be investigated to prevent a harmful MOB from once again JUMPING TO JUDGEMENT without facts the NEXT TIME A SIMILAR INCIDENT OCCURS

the IDEA of TRUTH is a matter of college ethics and the GROUP of 88 are as allegedly guilty of false accusations and call to riots as anything ever seen in college athletics

the time has come for COLLEGE ATHLETIC DIRECTORS to INVESTIGATE the GROUP of 88 and BROADROTTEN as a silent partner

if the NCAA stands for anything i6t must CUT out the CANCER that the GROUP of 88 has spauned on college campus

Anonymous said...

8:53 commenters--Re--another year of eligibility.

I don't think anybody needs to worry about this one; I can't imagine the NCAA would approve it given that the team played 8 games--about half its regular season--before the season was cancelled. The NCAA isn't known for its generosity in extending eligibility, and those cases in which it does so involve 80-100% of the season missed.

If Duke wins on Monday, I think you can call the chances of an eligibility extension 0%. (They're probably not much more if Duke loses.) And, as you point out, that may be the right outcome in the larger scheme of things, even though it doesn't work out well for these individual players. Not everything bad that happens in life can be fixed.

I would note, though, that many college athletes are over 21--a lot of football and basketball players do a post-graduate year of schooling before attending college, many red shirt a year, some are in their mid-twenties and in college after a few years of work or military service. So there's not necessarily a clear principle that it's unfair for college athletes to have to play athletes who are "a year older and stronger."

That being said, I think it's entirely appropriate for the university to ASK for the extension. Based on reading the Inside Lacrosse article, I think the initiative came from Danowski and/or others on the coaching and athletic staff, who then sought the necessary approval from the university and the other ACC schools. So I don't think it's really being motivated by a Duke effort to find a way out; I think it's initially motivated by a sincere desire to help the kids get back some of what they lost.

Mr. said...

The group of 88 will HANG AROUND THE NECK OF DUKE, pulling down its reputation UNTIL they are expelled, sanctioned, and removed ...

just like college basketball gamblers they GAMBLED on a LACK OF FACTS...they ignored the TRUTH...they applauded racial INSENTIVITY and in fact ENCOURAGED it against the white players and their families

they didnt stop the ILLEGAL SLANDERING LIBELOUS posters as they were the omnes who supported the NON AMERICANS who posted them

the Group 88 is as dangerous to our civil society as gamblers were to basketball

Anonymous said...

God moves in wonderful ways and DUKE will win the NCAA lax finals

this will forever insure the many books that DENIED the three duke students their shars of the national championship...

this years TEAM, when it wins, on national TV needs to PRAISE those who were DENIED by DUKE from the same success...

BROADROTTEN AND STEELE shpuld be back at duke and have a party with the Group of 88 thats where their hearts are...with the gamblers who never took the time to learn the facts

mac said...

The NCAA won't reinstate the
eligibility for the Duke
LAX team. The NCAA might
consider it if the players
played "money" sports, but
they don't want to set
precedents that could cost
colleges and universities
money in the future; they
won't want to set a precendent
that they have to abide by.

They'll probably use some
lame excuse, however,
claiming that they can't
reinstate the eligibility
of the athletes for the same
reason the '80 Olympics couldn't
be re-done after Carter screwed
the American athletes: it's over.

Bad logic, but they won't own
up to the real issue: precedent-
setting.

Anonymous said...

I am not as impressed with Swift's questions as others. If Police Captains need help in formulating the criminal question - we are really in trouble.

bill anderson said...

Should Duke win in the finals on Monday, Kerstin Kimel should feel the pride that anyone does who contributes to creating a championship team.

Pressler recruited and coached the players through 2006, Danowski coached in 2007 and this is no attempt to take away from their feats. But Kimel, suffering the slings and arrows from fools for doing so, put the entire men's team of 2006 on her back and kept them going when the vast majority at Duke either outright condemned them or ignored them.

Kimel still has plenty of time to win a championship of her own, but whether she does or not, she is the model of a winner and a champion.

May 27, 2007 9:29:00 AM


Hear, hear!! That is absolutely right. Kerstin Kimel is a great coach and a great person.

Anonymous said...

bill you may be smart but you have no idea about college athletics...

Anonymous said...

Here is a spotlight. Anderson is now claiming that Nurse Levicy said "definitely raped" and also that "there were injuries not documented". He infers this information came from the defense lawyers. This new "evidence" defies credibility. Whats goin ON?

Anonymous said...

she was raped all right...BUT it was by various black men...and she did it for FUN...

without DNA she might have been able to prevail BUT like most dummies her idea of science was learned in the classes of the Group of 88 where facts dont matter ...racial politics does

Anonymous said...

To those who think Truman Capote "helped" Harper Lee write "To Kill a Mockingbird"...what on earth is your basis for saying this?

Truman Capote is the acknowledged model for the "pocket Merlin" named Dill in "Mockingbird," and Harper Lee is the acknowledged model for the Huck Finn--ish character Idabel in Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms." Harper Lee also was instrumental in helping Truman Capote gather information in Kansas for "In Cold Blood." Beyond this I am not sure there is much evidence for "help," aside from friendship and moral support, going in either direction.

In all of Gerald Clarke's lengthy and exhaustively researched biography of Truman Capote, he mentions "To Kill a Mockingbird" briefly exactly twice--with no intimation of any kind that Mr. Capote "helped" write this great American novel.

Ms. Lee herself said she did not write another novel because she had said everything she had to say in her first and only novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." It is an extraordinary work of art that addresses many matters of great concern to humanity. She does not limit herself to racial issues but touches on issues of justice, family, health, mental capacity, education, sexuality, religion, honor, social status, government, industry, compassion, radicalism, sacrifice, and love. I am a great fan of Mr. Capote's as well, but his work does not resemble that of Ms. Lee's and does not approach hers in terms of breadth of human understanding. His gifts are extraordinary too, but completely different.

I cannot comment much on Ellison because I am not as familiar with who even might have "helped" him. Professors I have heard lecture about him have never suggested that someone else "helped" him, so I am curious where and why this idea of "help" materialized.

Observer

One Spook said...

Anon at 1:37 PM wrote:

"Duke and the Group of 88 had taken sides AGAINST the team, and cancelling the season without factual justification of its own investigation is no different than the scandals in athletics that lead to the NAACP formation." [emphasis added]

Now THAT is one of the greatest typo-Freudian slips I've ever seen!

I think you can quite safely put the idea that the NCAA will begin probing bias and racial/gender prejudice by wigged out faux-intellectual professors like the Gang of 88+ against athletes, firmly in the "when pigs fly" catagory.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

In today's "Palm Beach (Fla.) Post":

"After missing the bulk of the 2006 season because of assault charges that have since been dropped, Duke's lacrosse team...blah, blah ... On Monday, Duke will face Johns Hopkins for the championship and a chance to muove further away from a scandal that prompted the departure of its coach and left a cloud hanging over the program."

When KC's book comes out, the media will review it under the "Fiction" category.

Anonymous said...

Observer,

You're correct: Capote had nothing to do with the composition of Lee's novel. I understand there's a letter extant written by Capote to his mother where he remarks on Lee's wonderful writing. Nowhere does he intimate that he helped her in any way.

Ellison is another story. First off, "Invisible Man," while a wonderful freshman effort, is an incredibly overrated book. Norman Podhoretz addressed this in an article in Commentary. Ellison was good friends with Saul Bellow, and there is speculation about Bellow's help, but this is entirely speculation. There's a recent biography of Ellison out that explains his sad artistic decline, recently reviewed in NY Times Book Review.

As to Southern writers--I'm a huge fan of Carson McCullers--an underrated genius.

Polanski

mac said...

"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"
is about all she wrote, is it not?
That is, all that was worthwhile?
Another "one-hit-wonder?"

Anonymous said...

OT

Thank you, Polanski.

We are in agreement on Carson McCullers, too. Any other Southerners on your list of most admired writers? John Kennedy Toole, John Crowe Ransom, William Styron, Reynolds Price, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, or William Faulkner?

Mac, what's wrong with a one book genius or are you pulling our leg?

I should add that I also do not see much similarity between the writing of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Without doing any research, my recollection is that Zelda was way too intent on proving her worth as an artist (dancer and/or writer) and, sadly, as a human being to accept much, if any, help from her husband.

Observer

mac said...

"One-hit-wonder" was an observation,
not a condemnation (though some
would use the phrase that way.)
McCullers was - according to
my old Prof - writing an
autobiographical novel.

Hard to follow one of those
types of "fiction,"
unless you get a whole new
load of crap heaped upon you,
as I suspect Ms. McCullers did
in her early life.

Some of the best artistic work
isn't Monet-style, not always
prolific. Johannes Vermeer wasn't
prolific, either.

So, yes, I was serious, but no,
I wasn't crapping on her.
I'd like to do a single-of
type work, too: a good short
story, a good painting, a good sculpture, a good novel, a good
poem...and one darn-fine 5 K run.

mac said...

BTW,
Will KC ever do anything as
substantial as he's done -
and is currently doing?
Is he a giant-in-the-making,
or is he...Carson McCullers?

Anonymous said...

O,

Yes, I like all the authors you alluded to, especially Flannery O'Connor. Remember, McCullers died at 50 and suffered from alcoholism and depression, so, yes, her production was limited. Still, she produced, besides "Heart," "Reflections in a Golden Eye" and "Member of the Wedding." She has other novels to her credit, plays, poems, and short stories.

I'd check out Barry Hannah and Bobbie Ann Mason if I were you--2 marvelous contemporary Southern writers.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

If all anyone wrote was GWTW - that isenough and more than most writers do in a lifetime.

Gary Packwood said...

Jack 12:27 said...

... Duke is not in the business of reaching down the social ladder with a welcoming hand, never has been. Minority admissions are a carefully calculated segment of the student body, many coming in the form of prominent, wealthy non-US citizens, diplomats’ children, others are carefully screened for fit and finish. Working class whites, like Tony McDevitt, are the exception, few and far between. Tony is at Duke to play lacrosse, a hired hand.
::
What you are describing is an emerging monarchy growing un-checked at Duke in Durham.

Admittedly, the United States is a young country but attempting to grow a monarchy here in risky business and is becoming more risky as time marches forward.

University accrediting bodies along with federal grant dollars now require that university do just exactly what you are suggesting that Duke has never done...reach down the social ladder with a welcoming hand.

So many Duke students and graduates have families who came to this country because they abhorred the privileged monarchy in the old country. Surly, those families are not going to create their own monarchy and begin the cycle of sorrow again.

The recently announced DukeEngage program will take the Duke students outside the 'bubble' to extend a hand not only to youngsters such as Tony McDevitt...but to families across the world who are caught up in the vice of poverty and disease.

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/
engage/

If DukeEngage works, children of families who seek to be monarchs, won't apply to Duke University where students and faculty 'press the flesh' with all forms of commoners.

If DukeEngage does not work...we will see attempts on the part of the 'commoners' in Durham and the United States ...to take Duke down a notch or two.

Sound familiar?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

GWTW?

To what are you referring?

mac said...

5:49
Gone With the Wind?

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Anon at 5:49: I think "GWTW" means 'Gone With The Wind'.

Sigh, I'd give ANYTHING to have that as my 'only one novel'.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

GWTW?

To what are you referring?

May 27, 2007 5:49:00 PM
------------------------------------------

Frankly I don't give a damn.

mac said...

Gary Packwood

Good points, all.
Unfortunately, we're seeing
the first generation of
creativity being medicated
out of our youth by drugs
of the same ilk as Ritalin.
(BTW, Ritalin was used
way back in the early 1960s -
perhaps before - when Grandma
"had a waning interest in life,"
or "failed to respond to
reassurance alone." It was,
basically, speed for Granny
and Gramps.

Now they're using it to control
kids.

That is a dangerous portent of
things to come. Creativity
is one of our main advantages,
since - so far - government
hasn't made it illegal to
have a creative mind.

Just wait, though: it'll get
around to it. Creativity is
the "great equalizer" when
it comes to class structure.

mac said...

Creativity is also very dangerous
to bureaucracies, who can't
control it easily.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What is Wilson's salary after the 66% raise?

$39,000. The Durham median male income (2000 census) was $35,200. Personally I found $39,000 a shockingly low income for "chief investigator". Call me out of touch. (His previous salary was $23,453)

Anonymous said...

I did not think there was a single person in the civilized world, who did not know GWTW was Gone With The Wind.

Anonymous said...

6:22

who ever said polanski was civilized?

Gary Packwood said...

mac 5:58 said...

...Creativity is the "great equalizer" when it comes to class structure.
::
So True.

Just a few years ago I was teaching operations research and a group of undergraduates students (private university) said that they wanted to study a Ford or Nissan assembly line and how the supply chain worked as well as 'team approach' training from Japan.

I began to prepare the printed case materials for the class and it occurred to me to call Ford and ask if the class could tour their huge facility.

I will never forget the response which ...sure...we have never had a professor call to take a class thought the facility...would you like for the students to be trained along side the assembly workers as they learn the team approach from Japan?

Following that wonderful learning experience, I saw the level of creativity in class ...just skyrocket.

Studying 'just in time' inventory and 'team approach' with DVD's and written cases ...can't touch students being engaged in the actual process.
::
GP

mac said...

GP,

Good points.
Amazing that the Japanese
are more creative, when
they're almost a nationalized-
version of Asperger's Syndrome
(like the French have a national
narcisistic delusion.)

And yet - as you pointed out -
the Japanese could teach us a lot.
Scary.

Just think when all those
creative American minds are
completely subjugated by
pharmaceutical wizardry,
rendered harmless to the
bureaucracies and made really,
really compliant.

Fit fodder for the 88.

Thank God for Homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

re Carson McCullers

Forgot to mention that the best literary critics did not consider "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" to be CM's mastrwork; that honor, according to them (and I concur), goes to "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," a novella.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

Maybe Linwood went from
part-time to full-time ?

Anonymous said...

Thank you P. That is very useful information. I am looking for something shorter for my list.

O

Anonymous said...

I read an article about how Mayor Bell wished to honor the Duke Men's LAX apparently just for their accomplishments on the field. This was before the last game and something he wanted to do regardless of how they did in the championship. They closed comments on the article; but most noted it as BS. It was clear he was attempting a PR move. Several mentioned he had never suggesting honoring other teams that had reached similar points in their season. No one mentioned though that there was no suggestion to honor the *Women's* Lacrosse team ... even though they were at the same level (Final Four) when the mayor made his suggestion about honoring the Men's team for their accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

A pleasant detour, literature.

Aside from the established masters, we have more than a few excellent writers in our midst, including DIW's gifted creator and host, KC. Taken together, in concert, a superior match versus any university.

Northern writers, southern writers... keep up the fine work.

Gary Packwood said...

mac 6:48 said...

...the Japanese could teach us a lot.

...Scary.
::
The big lesson for Duke students when they start with DukeEngage is the astonishing low number of managers in the workplace today. Those organizational charts really are getting flat.

When we visited the Ford/Nissan plant in Ohio, the students were stunned to learn that there was one (1) superintendent; one (1) secretary for the entire complex; the estimated time of arrive for assembly line parts was (+-) three (3) minutes and all managers needed to query their workers on all decisions involving Quality Control and training.

As one young man said...you have to really do 'stuff' here as a manager! Yes, Indeed.

Students such as Cheesesteak Tony (Duke's Tony McDevitt #44) are extremely valuable in a classroom full of kids who parents are physicians, attorneys and investment bankers.

The 'you have to do stuff here' statement will evoke a response from the Tony's in class ...

Dude! Well Yeah!
::
GP

mac said...

I witness the medical community's
work all the time: it is less
impressive on the practitioner-
level than on the textbook level.
Most are becoming assembly-liners,
and can't be bothered with the
inevitable question - "what's
next?" - if their answer comes
up short.

They just shrug, having already
had their hand on the doorknob,
waiting to make their escape.

That's why Pirsig's "Zen and the
Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
was - and is - such an important
work. He reminds us the value
of learning to look at what's
wrong with a bike, and having the
knowhow to diagnose and to fix it,
not having to take it to a
specialist. The art is being
lost.

Schools that teach assembly-line
thinking (an oxymoron) do no favors
for anyone, and are well-
represented by most of the 88:
Assembly-liners, who
congratulate themselves on their
"original thinking." It's not:
it's a Bolshevik assembly line,
putting bolts on gears destined
for the machine.

Another analogy is Nurse Ratched's
machine. The 88 are there,
compliant, neutering, "ball-
snatching" - (McMurphy's words) -
and driven to suppress
innovation.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 7:47 said...

RE: Mayor Bell

...No one mentioned though that there was no suggestion to honor the *Women's* Lacrosse team ... even though they were at the same level (Final Four) when the mayor made his suggestion about honoring the Men's team for their accomplishments.
::
Yes, there are around 30-40 Duke people who have written the Mayor and played GOT'YA with the MOST exquisite English and pulled the rug out from underneath him involving the gender issue and Lacrosse.

In my consulting work I can find no group of men or women who have the answer to the dilemma of how to talk about honoring the men's and women's team. You can't say champions (everyone is a champion), you can't always say men and women and can't even suggest that Golf is not a sport.

Even public relations people are stumped with this one.

You have any suggestions 7:47 that would help with the recognition issue rather than issuing the GOT'YA and guaranteeing absolute silence for the rest of eternity?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

If Mayor Bell wants to honor the lacrosse team as part of a step forward, I think that's a positive development. Of course, this ALONE won't heal the wounds, but it's clearly better than the deafening SILENCE from the Duke faculty lounges.

R.R. Hamilton

mac said...

The best way to honor the
Lacrosse team - (men's and
women's) - would be to dismiss
Nifong and the DPD collaborators,
and the City Manager.

Then it might consider offering
a scholarship to a Lacrosse
student athlete, one from each
team. (They could pay for them
with the pensions of some of
the principals involved.)

That would go a long way toward
the appearance of contrition.

Anonymous said...

The recognition for their accomplishments on the field is the ACC championship trophy. If they win tommorrow (hopefully,) they'll get another trophy.

The mayor wants to give them his own recognition claiming it's just about their athletic accomplishments. However, the fact that he's not recognizing any other team (including the women's LAX team) indicates his claim is BS. What he wants to do is *imply* "Hey, I know my city screwed y'all over and I'm sorry," without actually saying that directly ... so he's "acknowledging the athletic accomplishment."

Instead of this "recognition" they don't need: Everyone knows they had a fantastic season. The ACC, NCAA, and Lacrosse community *recognizes* them.

What they need from the *mayor,* (in the very least) is him directly saying, "Hey I know my city screwed y'all over; and I'm sorry." "Recognizing" them in the way he's suggesting is just a weasel move to again avoid admitting any sort of real responsibility.

Anonymous said...

8:10 Just-in-time managegent may not be all it is cut out to be. Ford, GM, and even some Japanese manufacturers have warranty costs (claimns/accruals) over 3% of revenue - several billion per year. That's billion with a B.

It takes too long to bind together information from failed parts/design to incorporate changes/improvement back into production. Turns out j.i.t., exacerbated by a flat world with lower tier suppliers who are disperesed across the world may make information flow and product accountability worse.

It takes too long to correctly identify problems, correct the issues and reengineer the improvements. Typically the designs are across product lines; a failure in one line impacts many.

Shortening cycle times, improving short-term cash-flow, laying off risk on lower tier suppliers, etc., may not prove to be so creative in the end.

Did I just pull a Jidoka cord? No question Toyota is the best and may end up being the only one standing, but j.i.t may not stand-up so well if one considers total long-term costs.

Kind of reminds me of the Gang of 88. They must have received just-in-time degrees...

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 10:35

You are correct.
There is no one right way to do most anything.
Very young student hate it when you teach that.
:-)
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Lloyd Bailey has exactly the right prescription for this kind of scum.

mac said...

10:37
Yup, even a creative effort has
to be put into a winnowing
fan - (some of which look like a
basket, others a shovel, the latter
of which explains Homer's use.)

Obviously, no one separated the
wheat from the chaff when it
came to hiring the 88.

Anonymous said...

Dont tell me "mama told me to get a job wilson" is still working for the D.A. office.

Anonymous said...

I hope Wilson gets Nifonged

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I've lived in Memphis since 1982 and have never heard of the "Memphis Daily News". And I hope I never do again.

Less than 3 percent of all college women become rape victims (either completed or attempted), according to the 2005 National Institute of Justice study "Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It."

That translates into 35 such crimes for every 1,000 female students.


In what universe does < 3% translate into 35 out of 1000?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Perhaps the Duke Alums who are Bloggers might want to remind the G88 that the purpose of the recently completed fund drive was to raise needed funds to bring more people like Tony to Duke."
There's no point in even trying to talk to them. Far more effective to remind the Duke administration of that the next time they ask you for money.