Perhaps the outcome of Monday’s NCAA final against Johns Hopkins didn’t provide for a feel-good ending to the 2007 lacrosse season. But the NCAA has just come down with a decision that provides some compensation.
The AP’s Aaron Beard and Inside Lacrosse are both reporting that the NCAA has granted Duke’s appeal to reinstate the year of eligibility lost when the 2006 season was canceled; the story is now up on the Fox News wire as well. The waiver allows the players a fifth year of eligibility whether they stay at Duke or attend another school’s graduate program.
The NCAA press release: “These individuals were involved in an unusual circumstance that we believe warrants providing them the opportunity to complete their four years of competition.”
For an organization often criticized for putting the interests of student-athletes last, it’s encouraging to see the NCAA do the right thing in this instance.
Pardon the unbridled enthusiasm, but
Very, very interesting. Most of the students will be graduated in four years, and with Duke being so expensive, I doubt they would come back for a fifth year -- unless they were in graduate school there.
Still, I applaud the NCAA for what it did. It is NOT an empty gesture.
I would have bet a million dollars the NCAA--not usually a very player-centered organization--would not grant this waiver. I'm sure glad I didn't!
According to Inside Lax, the waiver applies to everyone but the frosh and 5th-year student Ed Douglas (who is in grad school). It can be used at Duke or at another school (should the student want to, say, attend grad school somewhere else and play there for a year). Of course, it's anybody's guess whether the sting of losing the championship game will be enough to bring back the seniors, many of whom already have firm plans in place for next year.
It's pretty easy to work around the graduation requirement by taking an extra major or minor and spreading your required classes out so that your major requirements aren't met until the 5th year. That's what Lindsay Harding did after she sat out one season over some sort of team disciplinary matter.
The expense, however, is definitely an issue for the many players not on athletic scholarship (or on partial scholarship), as you note. Duke tuition is paid by the semester, regardless of the number of enrolled credits.
Would this apply to Greer?
yes. he is a junior, but he could return in '09 as well.
They really had to. Remember, the LAX season was cancelled, ostensibly, because of security concerns.
This should present an opportunity for Duke "to do the right thing" - but will the University be permitted to provide financial aid for the additional year to the current scholarship and non-scholarship players?
The NCAA limits the number of scholarships available in any sport - I think mens lacrosse is 9.9 scholarships (the 9.9 "value" can be spread across a larger number of students in this sport - other sports use a "headcount" method)
Will Duke be limited in the number of available scholarships for the incoming freshman class in 2007 through 2009 in that the 9.9 scholarships have to spread over five years of eligibility rather than just four.
If you know anything about the NCAA, which is essentially an entertainment broker for televised college football and basketball, this decision is nothing short of amazing!
While some might argue it was a "safe" decision for the NCAA to make, it certainly represents an unprecedented move.
Their decision most certainly was affected by the fact that, due in a large part to Blogs like this one and despite the best afforts of the New York Times and The Washington Post eg., the injustice done to those student-athletes emerged. The uncovering of truth has a funny way of forcing people to acting responsibly sometimes.
It is apparently too much to ask that agenda-driven professors and administrators at Duke act responsibly and apologize, but at least the athletic association to which Duke belongs, got it.
BRAVO to KC and others for keeping the truth in this story on the front burner!
I felt terrible for Matt Danowski after he hit the pipe in the 4th quarter and Duke lost by a goal in the final. It's a real treat for guys like me who played and know great lacrosse to be able to watch guys like him do their thing.
I really hope he sticks around for one more year so I can watch him and Greer play together a little longer.
Wow!! I didn't think they would grant the extra year!! Bill's right to say this is not an empty gesture--but it might be a tough decision for any of the guys that have already accepted jobs. I'm sure that their future employers might grant them a deferral, especially if they are able to complete some graduate work while they are using their additional year of eligibility!!
Congrats to the Duke Lax Team!!!!
The BEST news!!!!
I only wish Collin and Reade could be there, too. And they could have been if....
To the entire team:
Congratulations and huge hugs to you all from a Duke Mom who thanks you for the character, courage and decency you have demonstrated through this ordeal. I am so proud of you. xoxo
There was no doubt that this was to be granted. This eliminates the problem Duke and the NCAA would have about the damage done to the lacrosse by Duke for not providing enough security (from their professors;) )to the lacrosse players during the 2006 season.
Here's how Duke can settle with the families whose kids were not indicted: Duke will pay tuition, room, and board for grad school so the kids can play another year. How simple is that? Of course the agreement would be behind closed doors and never announced publicly.
What a terrible decision. Duke should not gain from its bad behavior in this situation.
I hope Bill Anderson is correct and I suspect he is. I hope very few if any players use their extra year at Duke. The NCAA should have granted the extra year to each player to be used ANYWHERE but Duke.
Duke voluntarily threw away that season. The players should get their year back, Duke should not get that year they voluntarily threw away.
Well, JLS, it is the players' eligibility, not Duke's. If they decide to go somewhere else to play their extra year,they can, so long as they finish their undergrad courses in 4 years and enroll in a grad or professional school at the new place. They can transfer before they graduate, too, if they want, and use the extra year somewhere else. (They may have to get a waiver of the one year wait rule on transfers if they want to do this before graduating.)
One could argue that they should only have been granted 12 additional games of eligibility, since that was the maximum they lost, but this is much cleaner.
does not seem right the game that was missed was the UVA game of last year for the championship
I think that it's the NCAA's chance to slap a President and faculty that tried to destroy a varsity sport.
JLS, it was not Duke University who was punished when the season was canceled last year. It was a team of 47 innocent players, and it is they who are finally receiving, in some small measure, compensation for the unwarranted and unmitigated cruelty they suffered over the course of 395 days. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing the leadership of Duke University and the Gang of 88 deserve are massive lawsuits, the loss of their tenure, and the termination of their employment. Forget Duke. This is about the players.
JLS> I'm a lax mom from way back when. I was shocked to see the decision. I am delighted for the players. I guess the decison came down to>Duke shouldn't gain from their stupid decision, but the boys shouldn't have been punished for same. I guess this was the only way to be fair to the individual players who were cheated out of the season.
After the sad , nerve wracking game on Monday the guys have alot of thinking to do. I guess this means Reade at Brown and Collin wherever he lands, can play an extra year if they want to. Wow, as per posting 3:32 seniors have the biggest decision to make. Real world vs one more year of college>where no apologies have come and the main players on campus and in town still have their jobs.
It's amazing to me that the NCAA can step outside the usual and see what an unfair situation this was for the team. Kudos to them for having the guts to do the right thing, when Duke did not. It's as close to an apology that the boys will get and in some ways it is that since the AD and coach Danowski acting as representatives of the institution initiated the process. I think there is hope going forward between this decision and Pres. Broad head showing up at the game> no matter what the individual players do diplomacy has begun. Duke had to start showing there was some capacity to right this wrong, and recruits and future students are watching. Amazing turn of events.
How many Duke players are actually impacted by this ruling?
I'm pretty shocked at this- As I've said earlier in KC's wonderful blog: Do the students deserve the extra year? Absolutely. Does Duke Deserve the extra year? Absolutely Not. I'm quite happy for the team, but how is this fair to their competition next year (playing against 5th year seniors)? Duke should be held responsible for not standing by the team and cancelling the season. (And don't use that old security line...)
The NCAA decision implies that the Duke decision to cancel the season was wrong IMHO. Whether it was wrong in hindsight after Cooper's decision or wrong at the time the decision was made should have been addressed. Duke's decision to cancel the season was wrong at the time it was made. It represented capitulation by the Duke administration to the crude power of bigotry.
I didn't realize how incredible the NCAA's decision was until after I read everyone's comments. Thank you! It's the first cheerful lacrosse news I've had since Monday.
BTW, I take it this strengthens the lawsuit against Duke?
There's a lovely telephone interview with Tony McDevitt on, I think, laxpower.com, in which he is asked what he will do. Of course he says he has to think everything over, and he points out that he has a job waiting at Merrill Lynch. But it seems obvious he's tempted--by the opportunity to go to grad school via playing lacrosse one more year. A real scholar athlete--that is what NCAA athletics should be about.
Interestingly, it seems clear from the interview he's not planning to consider using the eligibility anywhere else--it would be Duke or work.
Someone else asked about scholarships. Ordinarily, NCAA limits would still apply to the entire team, even if one or more players have received extended eligibility. But this is such an unusual situation, with so many players potentially affected, that there may be a little leeway. While it probably would not be fair to other teams to allow Duke more athletic scholarships than usual (this is far more troubling to me than the idea of having to play against 5th year seniors, which football players do all the time, courtesy of redshirting), it's possible that it would be acceptable for those players who can demonstrate financial need according to the university's regular financial aid standards to get need-based scholarships that don't count toward the athletic total. (I don't know for sure how this usually works with the NCAA, though.)
I'm happiest for the NCCU students. Hope they get to cheer against Duke again next Memorial Day.
An interesting questions is do 2006 SRs like Dave Evans now have an extra year of eligibility providing they have not played pro lacrosse?
I don't think the NCAA's decision has any bearing whatsoever on any possible lawsuit against Duke--it's complete apples and oranges. There aren't really any NCAA rules that cover what is appropriate behavior for a member institution when faced with this sort of problem (as the NCAA has no interest in suggesting that this sort of problem would be common enough to write rules about), so the NCAA doesn't really have any authority to make a ruling or decision about whether Duke's actions were right or wrong here.
While I understand the point of the poster who suggests the NCAA decision implies that Duke's decision to cancel the season was wrong, pigs will fly before the NCAA would ever make such a statement on the record (not only for political reasons, but because they don't really need to to resolve the issue before them and, as I noted above, it's not clear they have any authority to). So there's nothing that anyone could really use in a lawsuit.
No. The ruling explicitly applies only to players who were on the 2006 squad but not seniors at the time. Thus last year's seniors (including Ed Douglas, who used his 4th year of eligibility as a grad student this year, after graduating in 2006) do not get the extension.
The greatest surprise for me is how quickly the NCAA responded. It seems that most cases require many months before they make a ruling. In this case, we only heard about the request being submitted a couple of weeks ago. The NCAA must have thought this was a simple decision.
I don't see a successful lawsuit against Duke........... does anyone (especially a lawyer) have a coherent legal theory? Bottom line, this is a matter between Durham and 3 Duke students, period. Much as we all wish the Duke administration had supported its students in a stronger way, that in itself does not a successful lawsuit make......
now the ncaa can launch an investigation of broadrot, the group of 88 for consorting with liars and gambling with athletes careers
we have the ncaa story headlined on drudgereort.com where 50 million readers will see it
sorry posted this while driving in ny traffic
What a coincidence! I just granted myself a lifetime waiver to throw a party with two strippers annually on March 13th. Of course, I'll always ask for one Caucasian and one Latin-American stripper, but deep down, I'm hoping for one drug addled, mentally disturbed, lying, African-American stripper and one stripper of mixed ethnic background, you know...just for old times sake.
As for the article, that's good news for the Men's Lacrosse team, what with they're spending all their time drinking, beating up gay people, assaulting women and generally causing a ruckus. It's likely none of them were planning on graduating in less than 6 years.
Oh, what's that you say? The lax team actually has one of the best GPA's for any sport at Duke? Hmmmm.....
The NCAA decision has nothing to do with the issue of whether Duke acted properly or improperly in cancelling the LAX season last year. For crying out loud, the decision was made in response to an application submitted by Duke. Do you think that Duke asked the NCAA to give the players an extra year of eligibility because it had acted improperly in cancelling the season? You guys are really wacky.
gays as a group have far and away the highest incidence of anger and assault against other gays...guess its the leather imagr...take your envy somewhere else...like back to india
Still waiting for an apology to Pressler from Duke. One would think he is entitled to an additional year as well.
This is one time I'm enjoying
the taste of crow! Never
thought it'd happen, if only
because of the specter of
"precedent." Guess the
NCAA understood that this was
I see this as a defeat for the 88.
There is a great interview on laxpower.com with Tony McDevitt (Duke Lacrosse [Defense] from Philadelphia) about his plans and thoughts about the waver.
His brief comments about the injustice surrounding the charges in 2006 seem carefully scripted...at least to me.
Tony, whose Dad is a Teamster, is the player that could never find a good Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich in Durham.
Re: anon 6:57
No. The ruling explicitly applies only to players who were on the 2006 squad but not seniors at the time. Thus last year's seniors (including Ed Douglas, who used his 4th year of eligibility as a grad student this year, after graduating in 2006) do not get the extension.
I doubt very seriously if you are correct about the Douglas. The NCAA does not really consider people by class standing. The only consider people by eligibility year. Douglas by NCAA eligiliby standards would have been in year four of his five year clock and his third eligibility year.
In typing the above I have figure out what the NCAA must have done. They must have granted the entire Duke team who were eligible a redshirt year for 2006. Douglas AND ANY OTHER PLAYER REGARDLESS OF ELIGIBILITY YEAR, that had already redshirted could usually benefit from a second redshirt year. Because he previously redshirted, Douglas' five year period is now up.
As far as Evans and other 4th year players in 2006, 2007 would have been the final year of their five year window to play four. Thus by not playing this season, Evans and other 2006 fourth year seniors lost their chance for an extra year.
Duke1965: How can you not see a successful lawsuit against Duke when the University has already settled one regarding grading?
There are likely to be many succesful lawsuits against Duke. Mike Pressler has a fairly good argument for wrongful termination. Dean Sue is alleged to have advised Students to speak to authorities without calling their parents. Wanted posters (and vigilante posters) were put up all over campus, placing the playeers in danger. The G88 did not follow Duke teaching guidelines, and may have put the players at risk with their behavior. There was clearly grade retaliation.
Remember, a lawsuit is not soemthing Duke wants, and the discovery process that goes with it one could be very embarassing to them. I therefore believe Duke will either negotiate a settlement with the players without a suit, or, a suit will be filed and settled out of court. I can only imagine the emails that will be uncovered between the G88 idiots.
Although I am incredibly happy that the players were granted a much deserved extra year of elgibility, I'm afraid this may deflect attention from the fact that ONLY DUKE, in fact, was responsible for cancelling the players' seasons. It'll be interesting to see the implications of this unusual precedent in future years.
Also, being a rising senior at Duke University, I would love to see Duke find a way to financially support all of these players for graduate work and/or a 5th year of college.
Well, JLS, maybe you are right about the NCAA ruling, but my source is the original story on insidelacrosse.com:
"The approved request granted an extra year of eligibility to 33 players. There are 41 players on the 2007 roster. So the NCAA approved an extra year for every player on this year’s team except the seven freshmen and Ed Douglas, who is already a fifth-year senior. Douglas, if he chooses, can apply for an additional exception to allow him to return." For the NCAA , I think, Douglas was in year five of his eligibility clock. That part was not waived by this ruling, only the year of actual eligibility "used" by last year. Similarly, the Chronicle reports, "Last season's seniors are excluded from the ruling because NCAA rules dictate that student-athletes have five years to complete their four seasons of eligibility, and that window has expired. Additionally, many of those seniors have played professionally since graduation."
there are now 33 reasons duke can get sued---beyond the 88 who in my opinion writing the manifesto incited studends to act without facts---which was an alleged accessory to hate language --clearly a rico civil action...can one imagine if a conservative asked students to do the same---broatrotten and steebrain are up to their pc lives, along with duke, in trouble and are in need of a forceful remedy to never allow this to happen again
broadrotten is in the same pew as sharpass
ill bet every member of the team will get millions before this is over
Re: anon 10:16
Your quote confirms what I said. 2006 Duke players are getting a redshirt for that season despite not meeting the criteria. [That is they played so they don't meet the redshirt rule and played too many games and did not ALL have the injury needed for a medical hardship or medical redshirt.]
And your source is not careful in saying except the frosh and Douglas. What would be more correct is that the frosh and Douglas were not eligible or covered. The frosh were not covered because they were not there to redshirt. Douglas was not covered because he already redshirted.
Douglas can appeal for a hardship second redshirt. These are very rarely given though in the last decade or so they have been given a bit more. They are usually given when someone has an injury that costs them two years of play.
The Scrapper 9:56 said...
...Although I am incredibly happy that the players were granted a much deserved extra year of elgibility, I'm afraid this may deflect attention from the fact that ONLY DUKE, in fact, was responsible for cancelling the players' seasons. It'll be interesting to see the implications of this unusual precedent in future years.
...Also, being a rising senior at Duke University, I would love to see Duke find a way to financially support all of these players for graduate work and/or a 5th year of college.
Good luck with your blog Scrapper and of course good luck with your Senior year @ Duke.
Oh wait, something happened. Someone was wronged.
I'll super-size a Whataburger order for any that are still around, but only if it doesn't offend blacks, women, gays, or communists. This offer is good for 24 hours only.
The administration, the NCAA, the faculty...what a bunch of great guys. I want them on my team.
To deklan Singh....
Are you deaf or illiterate? Just wondering....
Pete Thamel has been put in place of Duff Willson for the recent articles that the NYT has printed on the Duke lax team. Again, kudos to you KC> he didn't loose his job, but he lost his platform on this one thanks probably to the amount of attention you gave him in your blog. Maybe they want to minimize any further the amount of material a lawsuit could have in case that happens down the road. I wish it would, but I'm sure all of the offending parties are counting on lack of funds for that to happen.
Of course, Thamel can't bring himself to use the words "innocent of all charges" either, but the pieces have been sticking to the facts and even discussing the larger picture of the game itself. I thought today's article about the NCAA ruling was very balanced.
Interesting to learn all the presidents of every participating school agreed. The VIrginia and Princeton coaches did not agree with the ruling but their presidents did. It highlights how wrong Broadheads decision was way back when if there was a unamious vote to accept the extension. A different president would have impacted the whole sequence of events dramatically better than he handled this one. The Board of Trustees and alums should take note of this.
Okay, I now realize two things:
1) I was tired and misread your 8:50 post, so I missed the part where you acknowledged that Evans would not receive additional eligibility.
2) You are discussing the niceties of NCAA policy on a more detailed level than I have the energy or interest to pursue.
So let's just agree that, in terms of outcome, we are on the same page, and in terms of the reasons for it, I concede. You're most likely right, and even if you're not, I don't really care.
You may be right that the university's eagerness to avoid embarrassing disclosures would encourage them to negotiate a settlement. But, really, as Duke1965 notes, it's hard to see any clear basis for litigation against Duke by the lacrosse players generally unless others have specific Dowd-style grade retaliation claims to make. It would be very hard to prove that the university as an institution had violated any clear legal duty to the players (regardless of whether you feel they violated a moral or social duty) and/or was responsible for causing them specific, provable monetary damages. (Their expenses for legal fees would have been caused by the police investigation rather than by any action of the university.)
Even Finnerty and Seligmann might have a lot of trouble making a legal case against the University, although at least in their case they could start with a concrete action--suspension--that the university took against them, and that might be enough to get university lawyers to the negotiation table.
Pressler is another matter, as he obviously suffered harm caused directly by Duke. For him, the viability of a lawsuit would depend on the terms of his contract and the exact circumstances of his "resignation."
For all of these people, too, there is the question of whether anything they could obtain in a lawsuit would be worth the heavy financial and emotional investment. Especially for the unindicted players, I don't see much chance of "millions" coming to them from Duke that would justify the risk (and lawyers who take plaintiffs' cases on contingency probably won't either).
I think Duke can be in more trouble than you realize. The lacrosse season was concelled due to a security problem. They admittted that to the NCAA. University departments helped create that security problem with their ill-timed advertisement. The advertisement was so bad that is was used in a motion to change the venue of the trial.
I believe that in a legal sense that could rise to the level of "harrassment" where is was not possible for the lacrosse players to safely continue their education at Duke due to instances of grade retailiation.
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- if you're a defender of free speech, you don't want to see Duke sued for anything other than grade retaliation.
Perhaps Pressler could launch some sort of wrongful termination action based on Feinstein's argument that he was the only one who took any sort of action in response to the earlier report on the lacrosse team, and that if someone should have been fired for lacrosse misdeeds, perhaps it should have been Alleva.
I wouldn't mind seeing some sort of harassment charges pressed against potbangers and others who went out of their way to make the lacrosse players' lives miserable. But the university itself? You're asking them to stifle comment. That's not the sort of case you want to make, PARTICULARLY if you're a fan of KC's work.
As far as finances go -- the NCAA would surely balk if Duke offered to put up any money beyond whatever scholarship money players already have. Not much Duke can do about that.
If I were in charge at Duke, I'd see what I could do about paying legal fees for the three former defendants -- but even that would have to be cleared by the NCAA. Yes, the NCAA is so heartless and bureaucratic that I wouldn't be surprised if they said Seligmann and Finnerty would lose eligibility if Duke gave them money. That's why I, like most of the commenters here, was surprised to see the NCAA do the right thing here.
I'll also repeat again, since I may have made the case too late in another post -- never forget that there are thousands of people who remain loyal to Duke AND support the lacrosse team. Remember how the women's lacrosse team supported the men. Remember that The Chronicle asked pointed questions from the start. Remember that the attendance at that first home game this year was many, many times the typical attendance at a lacrosse game.
Remember that it's easy to second-guess decisions in hindsight, and remember that no institution is perfect.
(KC, I'd love to read some sort of indication that you remember all these things.)
8:26 You "cared" enough to write a few posts.
Yes, I did--if my "I don't really care" sounded snotty, that wasn't my intent. I just meant to say I conceded the argument in part because I didn't care about the technicalities of the NCAA rules here; I mistakenly thought there was a dispute about whether Evans and Douglas were included in the waiver. I assume JLS was probably right about the technicality, but I'm not going to double check.
Even if your legal theory about harassment is correct, it's hard to see how it would apply to the lacrosse players who did, in fact, continue their educations at Duke and thus couldn't really argue that they couldn't do so safely because of grade retaliation.
Again, if anyone has a specific demonstrable claim of grade retaliation, like Kyle Dowd, that's a different thing. But clearly the fear of such retaliation by itself didn't so worry the players that they couldn't complete their education, so it's hard to see what the damages would be.
I generally agree with 9:28 as well--though we might deplore the university administration's unwillingness to criticize some of the statements made by faculty and by potbangers affiliated with Duke, making that unwillingness actionable, or otherwise holding the university as an institution responsible for everything said by faculty and other employees, without regard to whether they were speaking/acting as individuals or on behalf of the university, would set a very dangerous precedent and ultimately do a lot more harm than good.
5/30 #;37PM said: "The expense, however, is definitely an issue for the many players not on athletic scholarship (or on partial scholarship), as you note. Duke tuition is paid by the semester, regardless of the number of enrolled credits."
After the disgusting, shameful treatment that all members of the team received by the Group of 88 and administration, the honorable thing would be for Duke to pick up the tab for tuition, room and board of any player on the men's Lacrosse team who wished to come back and participate in the '07-'08 season. IMO it would take the BOD to intervene and do what Broadhead and the other cowards in the administration seem to be unable to bring themselves to do: Act honorably.
In theory, a fine idea--but if the players actually want to play lacrosse, this won't work. The NCAA strictly limits the financial aid that can be provided to athletes, and following this course of action would clearly exceed the limit.
12:17 My concern here is not the individuals or faculty making statements about the case. They have first admendment rights to say what they want. However, university departments are a different matter.
I would think that the three defendants, especially Seligmann, would have proper cause the think that he would not be in a "safe" educational environment at Duke, especially if the still have required courses to take in any of these departments.
Duke made statements that it considered some of its students guilty of a crime they have since been cleared from. Three of the students involved were dismissed from school, their varisty sports team had their season cancelled and one of their teammates had to go the school's administration to get a grade changed.
If you were one of these student would you consider this a 'safe' learning environment?
"Duke made statements that it considered some of its students guilty of a crime they have since been cleared from."
To my knowledge, "Duke" (as opposed to individuals) never, ever made such statements.
"Three of the students involved were dismissed from school,"
The three indicted students were suspended, not dismissed, in accordance with standing Duke policy.
"their varisty sports team had their season cancelled"
Correct, but virtually all sports teams exist at the pleasure (or whim) of the University; with Duke's official and successful attempt to extend the eligibility of the affected players, where's the damage?
"and one of their teammates had to go the school's administration to get a grade changed."
That matter (the Dowd case) has already been settled, and if any other instances of grade retaliation can be shown, there might be a cause of action.
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