Duke Settles with Lacrosse Players

Duke University has agreed to a settlement with the lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape and then hung out to dry by university administrators and faculty.

Duke University has reached a settlement with each of the three former lacrosse players and their families. The university made the announcement this afternoon.

Duke Players All Smiles After Settlement From left, former Duke lacrosse players Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were all smiles during a news conference in April after the announcement that charges against them were being dropped. According to a press release issued by Duke, the terms of the settlement will not be disclosed. In a statement, Duke officials said the board of trustees and Duke President Richard Brodhead had determined that it was in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward. “This past year has been hard for many people who care about Duke — for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and friends — and for the three students and their families most of all,” the Duke statement said. “We resolve to bring the Duke family together again, and to work to protect others from similar injustices in the criminal justice system in the future. ”

The players, Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, also provided a statement. “Years ago, each of us made a decision to attend Duke because it is one of the greatest universities in the nation,” the players stated. “We were drawn to Duke because of its sense of community. The events of the last year tore the Duke community apart, and forcibly separated us from the university we love.

“It is impossible to fully describe what we, our families and team endured. As we said from day one, we are innocent. But it took three-hundred and ninety-four days, and the intervention of the North Carolina Attorney General, before our innocence was formally declared. …We hope that today’s resolution will begin to bring the Duke family back together again, and we look forward to working with the University to develop and implement initiatives that will prevent similar injustices and ensure that the lessons of the last year are never forgotten.”

Whatever they paid, it wasn’t enough.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Will Nancy Grace apologize NOW?

  2. The Thomas says:

    I find it interesting to note that the Duke Lacrosse students expect as the result of this “agreement” for them to work “with the University to develop and implement initiatives that will prevent similar injustices and ensure that the lessons of the last year are never forgotten.”

    Sounds like Duke (and the gang of 88) is going to get schooled in how they handled this injustice in a way that they never forget.

  3. BigFire says:

    Re: The Thomas

    Nah. This is just an inexpensive way for the university to avoid protracted bad publicity. Even at $10 million a pop (note, this is not the actual amount, just some number I think up), this is still cheap, and now they can just sweep the whole thing under the rug.

    Next stop, the City of Durham, the City and others.

  4. yetanotherjohn says:

    I think I would have held out for elimination of all racial and gender bias in the schools administration and academics. Also loss of tenure for the 88. Of course, I would have taken the money also.

  5. Triumph says:

    Whatever they paid, it wasn’t enough.

    I love the sanctimony–cheers for defending the innocent. Where was the concern when the US was kidnapping people like Maher Arar, imprisoning them without trial and sending them to torture chambers?

    Should the US pay Ruhal Ahmed, Jamal al-Harith, Tarek Dergoul, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul for a much more egregious action of actually imprisoning them without charges?

    What happened to the Duke kids was inconscionable–but not nearly as much as many other folks victimized by the government lately.

  6. Whatever they paid, it wasn’t enough.

    Since the three playes agreed to the settlement, I don’t think there’s much basis for this conclusion.

  7. carpeicthus says:

    Oh, I don’t know about that. I’d let a school temporarily ruin my reputation for $25 million. There are numbers that are enough.

  8. James Joyner says:

    I love the sanctimony–cheers for defending the innocent. Where was the concern when the US was kidnapping people like Maher Arar, imprisoning them without trial and sending them to torture chambers?

    There was plenty, including from these quarters. Even so, one presumes that American citizens will have greater protection by the Constitution than foreigners who are accused of plotting terrorist action against our country.

    Since the three playes agreed to the settlement, I don’t think there’s much basis for this conclusion.

    Well, no. People take compensation because it is something and settle out of court to avoid the time, expense, and further anguish of litigation. That does not, however, make these people whole. They had a year of their lives stolen from them; that can’t be repaid.

  9. just me says:

    Not to mention I suspect the players are going to be going for Durham County next-kind of hard to argue at this point that Nifong was acting in good faith.

  10. Andy says:

    They had a year of their lives stolen from them; that can’t be repaid.

    Except with cash money. It’s Cristal time!

  11. Scott Swank says:

    I find it telling how wrapped up the conservative voice is with respect to this case. I agree that this was a broad travesty, but the only one in my memory that involves well-heeled white men. Conversely, the legions of such cases against minorities and the indigent find little or no such sympathy from the right.