Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nifong Hearing Date Set

The contempt hearing for Mike (“nothing happened”) Nifong has been set for August 30; I will be in Durham to live-blog the proceedings.

With the man whose version of events they unqualifiedly accepted last spring having at last conceded that nothing untoward occurred at the party, the Group of 88 (minus Arlie Petters and a few other members, such as Lee Baker, who have issued conciliatory statements) would seem to be out on a limb. But, of course, those awaiting an apology from most of the Group figure to be in for a very long wait.


Anonymous said...

The man needs to serve hard time......

Anonymous said...

Trust me, the fatcs will not get in the way of the group of 88.

Anonymous said...

Why should they apologize? They are following the appropriate politically correct lines.
Why should something as insignificant as truth and justice get in their way? They will always believe something happened just like Ward Churchill believes himself to be an honest, righteous teacher at Colorado.
Personally, I keep hoping that if I keep believing myself to be one of the smartest humans on the face of the earth with an abundance of wealth, that it will happen. Ah, life in Wonderland.

Anonymous said...

With your coverage, now, of Vick and dogfighting in relationship to due process, I am looking forward to your future posts on OJ Simpson and innocence.

Stu Daddy said...

Hank Woods, Director of the Duke Annual Fund issued a rosy fundraisng report, which elicited my humble response and inquiry:

Dear Mr. Woods:

Thanks for your report on the Duke Annual Fund, which seems to be performing surprisingly well. I recently enjoyed a terrific 30th class reunion at Duke in April, the same week the North Carolina Attorney General finally declared former Duke students Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann innocent. (From the outset of the hoax, the falsely accused and indicted players maintained their innocence with the support of Coach Pressler and the entire men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.) Many of us skipped President Brodhead’s State of the University address at Page, as well lunch at Cameron, so we could witness and cheer Duke’s great lacrosse team to a significant overtime victory over Virginia.

Your report states the Annual Fund helps to cover faculty salaries, which is fine in theory. However, in practice does the Annual Fund itemize which faculty salaries are covered or supplemented?

Fortunately for Duke, I am an extremely modest contributor to Duke (Friends of Duke Chapel), but in good conscience I could not give a dime if in any way it was for the benefit of Trinity College’s infamous Group of 88. What an embarrassment this group is for the university! Furthermore, since it has undermined the good name of Duke students and Duke in general, this group of so called educators appears to be in violation of several tenets of the Duke Faculty Handbook. Will there be any inquiries or hearings into this matter? Duke’s reputation is at stake. Many like me who love Duke are concerned.

Yours truly,

Stuart McGeady, T’77
Duke Lacrosse 1974-1976
Severna Park, Maryland

Anonymous said...

Sad that the fight was taken out of the 3 families.

Anonymous said...

Not so sure the fight is out of the families yet. The BIG bucks and the possibility of putting Mike in real prison comes with civil rights violations. That, I believe, is still on their plate. But frankly, I wouldn't blame them if the fight is out of them. At some point, exhaustion overcomes vengeance.

Gary Packwood said...

Stu Daddy 4:20 said...
Stuart McGeady, T’77
Duke Lacrosse 1974-1976

I recently enjoyed a terrific 30th class reunion at Duke in April...
Yikes. Was 1977 thirty years ago?

Our soldiers had just returned from Southeast Asia where we spent all that time trying to get at the truth in that mess.

Same mess with the truth, different year.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is, or will soon be, broke, so why sue him personally for monetary damages arising from court costs? I don't think theyve lost their zeal to recover their reputations, and the upcoming civil suits ( along with Nifong's three quarter apology) will go a way to achieving that

Stu Daddy said...

GP 4:43...

In the mid-1970s, Duke's humanities departments were populated by the requisite Marxists, existentialists, liberation theologians, and the tame predecessors of today's feminist, racist and queer theorists. But I believe they were at least honest academicians, they taught interesting courses and carried on some worthwhile research. Maybe I'm out of date, but it seems like the humanities at Duke have been going downhill ever since, topped off by the Group of 88.

Stephen said...

The "Group" not only shot themselves in the foot, it was in their mouth at the time.

Anonymous said...

To put it mildly these people, the Duke Group88, are put upon bigots. It is their stock in trade, their raison d'etre so to speak. The tragedy is they represent such a force in present day academia. They cannot be called bigots enough. It is what they are.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Why should G88 apologize?
For what? It was never about Nifong, it was about their metanarrative. Nifong was a handy vessel in which to carry the poison, but even if he is now broken into pieces, it matters not to any of them or their mindset. In fact, I imagine most of them forgot about Nifong long ago.

Anonymous said...


This apology has an interesting ripple: the Whichard Committee.

How does the committee now react in its investigation? They can't very well find the DPD blameless, once Nifong admits the boys were innocent. If the evidence was gathered (or not gathered) by the DPD, someone has to take the hit.

Lots of interesting questions coming up. Time to pop more popcorn.


Anonymous said...

Astute, Ken in Dallas!

Topher said...

A note from the outside: Nifong's statement is now on the ESPN ticker on the bottom of the screen. At least any Newsday/S-H/NYT readers who watch ESSSSPN will have a chance to see it.

Gary Packwood said...

Stu Daddy 4:58 said...
GP 4:43...
...In the mid-1970s, Duke's humanities departments were populated by the requisite Marxists, existentialists, liberation theologians, and the tame predecessors of today's feminist, racist and queer theorists. But I believe they were at least honest academicians, they taught interesting courses and carried on some worthwhile research. Maybe I'm out of date, but it seems like the humanities at Duke have been going downhill ever since, topped off by the Group of 88.
Yes, I was in graduate school at Ohio University at the same time and we had the same groups that you described.

Someone from Duke has given the downhill group - The G88 - the title of Anger Studies professors and I have shared that designation with old friends from Ohio U.

We now have a group of alums communicating with the administration at Ohio University trying to put out an Anger Studies fire before the students and university suffer any blowback from such professors.

Reading about the G88 has been a real education for me.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is still using that touchy-feely "closure" thing. He's hoping people are weak enough to just say. "Oh well, Mikey apologzed, so everything's ok now." I don't buy the forgiveness thing unless the person who committed the egregious wrong is actually repentant. I don't think Nifong is doing anything more than saying "I'm sorry. blah, blah, that what you want?" He deserves to spend eternity in the very bottom pit of Dante's inferno.

Anonymous said...

What do I tell my child?

I'm a Duke alum who like many who follow KC's blog. I hope my child applies to DU this fall. My experience with the humanities dept at Duke was similar to Stu's- the faculty was a little "out there", but I never felt uncomfortable around any of them. My child is pretty conservative, so I'm not sure how to explain that some current faculty may actually display a visceral dislike or even hatred towards my child. It would be an incredible display of integrity for the remaining dead-enders better known as the "Group of 88" to come out with a conciliatory message the first week of the fall term.

Anonymous said...

To 5:22 PM

Wait! There's more.

The apology has more to do with the noose tightening around Durham than anything to do with Nifong. Nifong is history.

The defense team now has the Cooper report, the disbarment proceedings, the statement from Nifong that the boys were mistakenly prosecuted, a contempt hearing coming up and (icing on the cake) the Whichard Committee report. All this discovery will come very, very cheap. There will also be discovery on how the DPD was able to obtain the federally protected personal records from Duke without a court order. This is turning out to be as good as an old fashioned asbestos suit for the defense team.

The good city fathers are probably paying a bit more attention to their liability insurance these days.

I can hear the screams of anguish already.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Sad that the fight was taken out of the 3 families.


Supplementing what 4:41 said, I think there are several good reasons to hope that this is not the case, and that this is just a good strategic decision by the lacrossies to choose their battlefield wisely.

1) Judge Smith is mighty irritated at Nifong for lying to his face, but for the defense lawyers to demand legal fees out of Nifong's pocket might be viewed, by Smith, as vengeance, ill-will or "rubbing it in". This move shows Smith that the lacrosse lawyers want [from Smith's ruling] justice, not personal gain.

2) Meanwhile, any costs they don't get back from Nifong (who may not be able to pay them anyway, or who may be protected by judgment laws from paying them out of his pension), will remain in play as part of a civil suit down the line.

This move will avoid reducing the amount they sue for, and preserve their right to seek it from parties who are better able to pay.

3) And, the hope at least is that they can get a civil trial jury that won't have the buddy-buddy, collegial feelings toward prosecutors that most Judges have (even Judges who are a bit pissed-off).

4) A subtle legal point, it seems to me: Nifong arguably would (or should) be PERSONALLY liable for any sanctions, because they represent actions he took personally, outside the scope of his proper job, i.e. the State does not pay him to do criminal acts and so should not indemnify him -- and, see above re: problems of actually COLLECTING from Liefong the Turd.

The smarter approach is to hold-off for now, then nail Liefong good, in a civil suit, on a legal theory that DOES require the State to indemnify him. Or, in the alternative, use Nifong to nail City of Durham. Then, there won't be the messy complications of having the damages partly covered by the previous judgment (but not in fact PAID by Liefong).

Boiled down: Give Nifong a good punch in the stomach for now -- he deserves it -- but don't start looking for money 'til somebody with deeper pockets comes into the case.

haskell said...

anonymous 6:21

Don't hold your breath waiting for an "incredible display of integrity" from G88. Welcome to the True Believer fan club.

There is another thread running on Michael Vick. The common message seems to be, once you are able to get a good look under the rock, it is prudent to walk away as quickly as possible. The current administration casts a pretty long shadow on everyone at DU. Why put your kid through the embarrassment?

Anonymous said...

6:21: I'm in a very similar position as a Duke alum with 4 kids, two of whom are upperclassmen in high school now. I no longer look forward to them applying to Duke. There are other great schools out there, as Finnerty and Seligman also decided, that are safer institutions to attend. I'm not going to let my sons attend a school where they may be targeted because of someone's bigotry toward "priveleged" white males.

I love the Duke that I thought I knew, but I love my kids more.

I got my Annual Fund email yesterday but I'm still waiting for answers to the last 2 emails I sent to John Burness. Luckily, I'm not holding my breath!

Peggy Deuel Harper '74

Anonymous said...


I am contributing $0.88, as well as sending a copy of the three political satire cartoons Deb posted a few days ago as my donations. Think it will help?

Stu, I am right around th corner from you, in Shipley's Choice!

ES Duke 1990

Anonymous said...


I recommend selecting a school that's not located in a college town.

Pick a school in, or near, an urban area. I've been to both types of schools, and know the difference.

Possible exceptions include some of the IVs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Harper and other anonymous parents,

I respect your concerns. I am sorry that you feel that Duke cannot provide your children with the same quality education and welcoming environment that it provided you. I wish you to know that those of us who signed the January 4th letter to the Chronicle really meant what the letter says: We welcome all students to our classes and activities. I hope that in considering Duke, you and your children will give our statement whatever weight you deem it deserves. I also hope you will take into account that our statement was endorsed by several other faculty members from other departments in A&S and the professional schools.


A Duke Economics Professor

Anonymous said...

kudos to Duke Economics Professor, and to the alums such as Stu and Peggy...

You represent the Duke that many of us know and love, and hope is not gone.

Concerned parties should use the upcoming school year to speak out forthrightly. Break out the sunlight and the disinfectant. There's plenty of cleaning to do, but many able hands.

D White 1973

Anonymous said...

You're all correct, but there are also concerns about the Durham/Duke relationship now. When the dust settles, are there still going to be DPD that target Duke students? Might it even get worse?

There are many good schools, and there's often some friction between the campus and the immediate neighbors in college towns, but I really do think the Durham problems will remain, in addition to the problems with the current administration at Duke. Maybe when Brodhead's gone.

And thanks to the Econ prof, too--I had a double major in Econ and Psych.

Peggy Harper '74

Anonymous said...

To the Duke economics professor:

How many of your colleagues are active in your faculty council?

Why let the crazies in the humanities and angry studies programs take over?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Econ prof. Why is it that the one deaf mute still employed at Duke sits in the president's chair. What is his problem?

inman said...

Dear Stu , D White, Peggy, a Duke Economics Professor and all those who hold Duke dear,

I, for one, found your comments to be most appropriate and clearly demonstrate what I believe is a common denominator of those who are of the Duke family. Each of has a different perspective, but it seems we share a common bond. Duke University is an intellectual and emotional home for us. We think of it from time-to-time, or perhaps often, but always with a fondness for the effect that Duke University has had on our lives.

When I say the words “Duke University” to others, it is often taken as an abstraction, a statistic or, as a consequence of last year, remembered as a headline. And as a stereotype. But Duke University is an institution with a rich history and with a remarkably diverse family. (I looked at the composition of the student body the other day and anyone who says that Duke is not diverse is … well frankly “braindead”….).

But Duke University, unfortunately, has not been well represented. Especially in the press. Certain activist administrators, professors and employees have garnered way too much publicity for their advocacy of what has been revealed as a flawed position. Eighty eight flawed positions. At least eighty eight.

Now it is time for the silent, for the thoughtful, for those who view Duke’s legacy as more than an experiment in correct thought and avant guarde politics,…for those among the University community to speak.

So…what to do? In prior postings I spoke of my own experience and the fact that I had not availed myself of the brilliant minds among the academy (my regrets). But surely many of you who read this blog recall with fondness a professor who was special, who taught you well,… or a professor whose work you truly appreciated, or whose work you believed to be remarkable.

May I suggest that each person reach out to that professor. Let them know that you did in fact appreciate their singular influence on you life.

And then suggest that there is a time for the silent majority to voice its opinion….an opinion restrained until now by good judgment, well-intended caution, and an eye for truth. Suggest that now is the time for a second “listening statement’….but one that addresses the facts and the failures and the opportunity for building a better Duke.

I don’t know what it should say…. But I imagine that:

“...we have listened to an ordeal…we have listened to those who felt aggrieved….we have listened and now wish to respond. Now, after the law has decided, we dare put forth our thoughts. We put them forth not to demean our colleagues who could have exercised restraint. We put them forth not to assert that our position and opinions are irreproachable.

We put them forth to start a dialogue, a dialogue to help heal wounds.”

Are there those who believe that another view is now appropriate, who are willing to assert the good of Duke University?

I am listening.


Thomas S. Inman ‘74

Stu Daddy said...

That, Inman, is one of the most eloquent and purposeful statements I have read in the last 16 months, here or anywhere, about what the Duke community is called to now. Thanks!

Good to hear alumni and economics professors weighing in with the regular Wonderland bloggers, who of course are very sharp and hardly need our help.

To the Economics Department: Probably the most practical course (besides Accounting)I ever took at Duke was Money & Banking. I have never lost track of my lecture notes.

To the Group of 88 and PC Angry Studies Ph.D.s everywhere, a good point of reference for your homework this summer would be to study one time Trinity College Professor of History John Spencer Bassett's tenure in Durham near the turn of the last century. Come to think of it, Duke's current administration would benefit by reading up on the career of then President John Kilgo.

Perhaps our fearless leader and History prof KC Johnson would honor us with his own insight into the Bassett Affair, and how it might inform us today vis a vis academic freedom in the university and the importance of courage and leadership from college deans and administrators.

Anonymous said...

Folks expecting an apology from the G88 are delusional.

As the G88 sees it, their meta-narrative was then, is now, and will be, absolutely correct.

They will never apologize for what they genuinely believe is the truth.

inman said...


A couple of nights ago, I parsed the math of Duke's faculty.

There are over 600 professors. 88 is a minority. (Oh, and many of the 88 aren't even professors.)

So...we have a very vocal minority that has driven the bus, so to speak. It's now time for the experienced driver to get behind the wheel.

I implore the experienced drivers to step forward, for the sake of Duke University and it legacy.

And for justice and the honor and reputation of the university.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else surprised that some Duke students haven't filed a class-action lawsuit against Gottlieb and the Durham police for the heavy-handed and fundamentally unfair treatment of Duke students as compared to police treatment of other Durham residents.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 11:31 said...

....Is anyone else surprised that some Duke students haven't filed a class-action lawsuit against Gottlieb and the Durham police for the heavy-handed and fundamentally unfair treatment of Duke students as compared to police treatment of other Durham residents.

I was surprised that Dave, Collin and Reade's parents took on the Bull and I'm fairly certain that Duke and Nifong were even more surprised. Positively shocked!

I would like to see the DPD arrest statistics on Duke students and that includes cash bonds collected by the City of Durham.

Anonymous said...

Inman, great post at 10:19. About the math in your 11:25, let us once and for all give due credit to Arlie Petters and reduce the 88 to 87.

Ralph Phelan said...

Ken in Dallas:

"How does the committee now react in its investigation? They can't very well find the DPD blameless, once Nifong admits the boys were innocent."

Why not? Because it would be logically inconsistent? Because it would be an obvious lie? Because it would be a dereliction of duty? This is Durham, North Carolina, remember?

The Wichard committee was chosen to exonerate the DPD. I'm sure they will carry out their assignement no matter what the odds.

Anonymous said...

If the bastard really wants the healing process to proceed, he should merely admit guilt on the contempt.

As Ole Ralph Kramden says, What he says and what he means are two different things!

Ralph Phelan said...

"I'm a Duke alum who like many who follow KC's blog. I hope my child applies to DU this fall."

Why do you hate your child so?

The Duke you loved is gone. Send your child to a good school. (A young woman of my acquaintance who had pretty much her choice of schools is going with Dartmouth. Her belief is that of the prestigious Ivy level schools it's got the least severe case of PC BS.)

mb said...

I'm sorry KC, but I still don't see anywhere that Nifong states that "nothing happened." I know that's the spin WRAL put on it in their headline, but I've listened to his statement several times and all he says is that Seligman, Finnerty and Evans didn't commit any crimes. He has not stated that nothing happened, and frankly, he'd be incorrect if he did.

Again, as I've said before, something did happen: A drunken, drugged-out hooker violated her probation and made false allegations of rape, kidnapping and sexual assault, and Nifong attempted to railroad three innocent men. That's a far cry from "nothing happened" and a far cry from what the MSM is portraying now, and I think they all need to be called on it.

Ralph Phelan said...

mb sez:
"I'm sorry KC, but I still don't see anywhere that Nifong states that "nothing happened.""

I agree. If anything, he went out of his way not to!

"I agree with the attorney general’s statement that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans committed any of the crimes for which they were indicted or any other crimes during the party that occurred on March 13 and 14 of 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd."

Parse it carefully - he's retaining the right to claim that "Something happened, I just got the wrong three guys." and "Those three know something and they're not talking." He can make a good living peddling that line on Wendy Murphy's road show.

Anonymous said...

GOOD LUCK TO NIFONG, even though the fix is in here also.

I'm sure more money has been slipped around by the families.