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Duke Blue Devils’ Lacrosse to Play Final Regular Season ACC Game Vs. Virginia, Scandal Still Looms

April 10th, 2014 at 10:31 AM
By Donald Lappe

Despite the team's success, the Duke Lacrosse scandal from 2006 still hangs over the program. Over eight years after the incident that sparked a national controversy, a new book was published Tuesday about what happened on March 13, 2006 and all that followed. The immediate result for the lacrosse program result was a canceled season, public condemnation of three student-athletes and a black mark on the program that still seeps through despite time's best efforts to erode the memory.

'NCAA Lacrosse Quarterfinals' photo (c) 2013, Matt Velazquez - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Duke Blue Devils are set to face the Virginia Cavaliers tomorrow in their final 2014 regular season ACC matchup. The regular season concludes Saturday, April 19, when Duke hosts Rutgers. The Blue Devils are tied atop the ACC standing with Maryland, the Terrapins currently holding the tiebreaker via a 10-6 win over Duke on March 1. With a win against Virginia tomorrow and a Maryland loss to Notre Dame next weekend, Duke could be the top seed going into the ACC Tournament on April 25.

That's not the story surrounding the Duke Lacrosse program this week. William D. Cohan has written a book titled, "The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities." The book examines how those involved dealt with the attention from the scandal, including the (now exonerated) players, Crystal Mangum, Duke administrators, lawyers and more.  

Without rehashing all the details of a well-covered story, it's interesting to consider the impact the infamous scandal still has on the Duke program today. While maybe not directly impacting the lacrosse team, especially in day-to-day activities, attention and exposure is important in a sport that continues to move towards truly becoming mainstream. While the 2014 Duke lacrosse team is ranked No. 2 in the latest Warrior Top 20 Poll, the coverage has honed in on the release of Cohan's book. Eight years later, the shadow of the scandal still appears and can cover up the accomplishments of this year's team, even at a critical juncture in the season.

It's important to examine and revisit incidents such as the Duke Lacrosse scandal in an effort to learn and move forward. For the Duke Lacrosse program, their own efforts to move forward and distance the program from that time is compromised in the process due to the media attention given tot he scandal, combined with the lack of attention given to this year's lacrosse team.

Friday night, the Blue Devils will look to position themselves for an ACC regular season title and the top seed in the ACC Tournament. A strong finish to the season and good showing in the ACC Tournament will make Duke one of the favorites to win the National championship once again this season. 

Tags: ACC, Crystal Mangum, Duke, Duke Blue Devils, Duke Lacrosse, NCAA, scandal

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One Response to “Duke Blue Devils’ Lacrosse to Play Final Regular Season ACC Game Vs. Virginia, Scandal Still Looms”

  1.  Randolph Parrish says:

    There was never a “lacrosse” scandal. There was a Crystal Mangum scandal; a Mike Nifong scandal; a Durham judicial process scandal; and a media-run-amuck scandal.

    Cohan’s book (already being disputed by some of those he interviewed) is hardly, imho, the work of a careful historian. It provides the reader with extensive interviews from Crystal Mangum and Nifong–two well-known truth-tellers (sarc/off)–who discourse on a theme of “something happened”. It falls somewhere between a revisionist history and a National Enquirer article, imho.

    Anyone familiar with the actual story (as, through reading KC Johnson’s book, Coach Pressler’s book, or Baydoun’s book)
    will come away with different conclusions.

    There is nothing to be “learned” by re-examining that case, except how easy it is for innocent persons to be charged and nearly convicted for a crime that never happened. And how eager some people are to believe the worst when it suits their agenda.

    Next I suppose we can expect tomes on how the Scottsboro boys really “just might” have done something on that train; how Dreyfus “just might” have spied for the Germans; and how Anne Frank “just might” have been a nazi sympathizer.

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