Duke Lacrosse Gear Sales Skyrocketing

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the sales of Duke Lacrossee merchandise are at all time highs.

In the wake of publicity generated by the sexual assault scandal surrounding the Duke men’s lacrosse team, sales of merchandise bearing the “Duke lacrosse” name and logo have skyrocketed. “Historically, lacrosse has been one of our three or four best-selling sports,” said Tom Craig, general manager of retail stores at the Durham, N.C., school. “But over the last month, sales have increased to three or four times our normal rate.”

Despite the cancellation of the team’s season April 5 — or perhaps because of it — the campus stores have experienced a run on merchandise related to Duke lacrosse, and therefore have continued to carry it. Developments in the case include the Tuesday arrest of two of the players.

“We just had to keep up with the demand,” Craig said. “There are a couple outstanding orders that we are waiting on; but as of now, we are in great shape in terms of inventory online and at the stores.” Among the available items are hats, T-shirts and replica jerseys, which arrived only recently but were ordered in January, according to Craig.

Craig said the items are generic in that they aren’t identified as men’s or women’s lacrosse, so there was never a discussion with university officials about the possibility of stopping sales after news of the scandal broke. Duke’s women’s lacrosse team is ranked No. 1 in the country. “I don’t think we’re taking advantage of the situation,” Craig said.

No, not at all.

Crosspost from OTB Sports

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Sports,
James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jpe says:


  2. ob1 says:

    It is only disturbing if you assume they are guilty. If you believe in “innocent until proven guilty” then there should be no problem with some who wish to show their support for the team.

    If it is true that there is no DNA proof, that there are various items of evidence showing that the defendants had already left the house when the alleged crime occurred and that there are time stamped photos showing the dancer arriving at the house already bruised then it is disturbing that these kids are being publicly tarred with phony charges.

  3. James Joyner says:

    ob1: The charges are indeed somewhat dubious. It is hard to deny, though, that the publicity around them is the reason for the sudden interest in Duke Lacrosse gear.

  4. Rick DeMent says:

    Well, some would find such support for rich, drunken, collage athletes hiring strippers for entertainment kind of disturbing. Personally, I don�t find it disturbing at all, hell, I�ve done the same thing, but then again no one is buying my gear and treating me like a hero for drinking and getting my rocks off.

  5. legion says:

    If people are just more interested in buying Duke gear, I don’t see what’s here to blame the university for (other than the fact that Duke just generally sucks 🙂

    If they’re using the publicity as an excuse to ramp up their own advertising – “Lacrosse – It’s Rape-tastic!” – then yeah, that’d be pretty skeezy

  6. Bettie Ann says:

    Ok… so…we have seen already major life changing effect… that resulted…
    once the girl cried rape.

    No DNA… and now she is afraid to testify?? Sounds like she has gotten in over her head…

    What I would like to know is – if it can be proven she is â??delusionalâ??…
    What resibution can she provide for the loss in Career for the Teamâ??s coach, loss in sholerships for the playersâ?¦loss in course credits for the accused… and just hassle in all…?