Anyone who knows me or who has read my 100 things knows that I went to Duke University. And anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock in America for the past year has heard of the “Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal” (cue ominous music).
I’ve been following this fiasco out of sheer curiosity, mostly because of the racial overtones of the situation. Racial relations have always intrigued me, and from my years at Duke, it’s clear that the university and surrounding Durham, North Carolina have never quite bridged the divide that must’ve started the day old Trinity College moved to Durham in the late 1800s. To say that even the student body is racially divided, or at least that it was when I was there between 1994 and 1998, is a gross understatement.
Back to the scandal, I’ve always thought the accuser’s story was a little off. But, then again, I was never what you’d call close with the Duke lacrosse team, so my heart didn’t exactly bleed for them either. I waited it out as the case developed.
As more facts and information have emerged, it seems highly unlikely that anything beyond racial slurs occurred that night–disgusting but not surprising to this former Dukie. Despite this, District Attorney Mike Nifong charged three players with rape, kidnapping, and sexual offense; now he has dropped the rape part, but is sticking with the other two charges. Right. Well those, too, should be gone soon enough, as should this guy’s law license. But that’s another issue.
To be clear, I’m not defending Duke’s actions either. The school promptly barred from the Gothic Wonderland two of the three accused players (the other graduated), but now President Richard Brodhead has invited them back. How sweet!
To paraphrase a fellow former Dukie friend of mine, I’d tell Duke to take a long walk off of a short Outer Banks’ pier. Then I’d go play lax at Chapel Hill. But that’s just me.
So what’s bugging me now? Today I read that a former lacrosse player, now graduated and never one of the accused, is suing the university, alleging that he unfairly received a failing grade because of his association with the team.
Well, to you, Kyle Dowd, I say, get over it. In a situation where it seems that no one was making well-informed, good, and rational decisions, it’s time for someone to start. Drop the suit.
And then count your lucky stars that you weren’t randomly picked out of the player pictures the accuser was given to choose her alleged attackers. Be thankful that you’re not biding your time as you await trial. And most of all, be grateful for the freaking Duke degree you’re holding in your hands. After all, you still graduated, right?
Appreciate all of the positive, unique experiences Duke has given you, not to mention the social, emotional, and employment connections that you’ve made that will help you throughout your life. Move on. And let the school move on. Take one for the team, if you will.
And, incidentally, if you’re really concerned about revamping the system so that athletes get the grades they deserve, maybe you should start looking at this from another angle.
Besides, we’ve got basketball season to worry about.
P.S. Happy happy birthday Ms. I’ve Never Seen It Spelled That Way. This post is dedicated to you!