If four poor kids (of any race) had been falsely accused of raping a rich girl they'd all be in jail and no one would ever hear about it.
"More than one year after his forced resignation, former men's lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler has reached a financial settlement with the university he once called home.
The terms of the agreement were finalized in mid-March, said John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, but no information regarding the amount settled for was released.
‘Coach Pressler is an excellent coach and did a great job building the Duke men's lacrosse program,’ Burness told The Associated Press. ‘Unfortunately last spring it was essential for the team to have a change of leadership in order to move forward.’
The confirmation of a settlement came just days before the publication of ‘It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives it Shattered,’ a book co-authored by Don Yaeger and Pressler recounting the former coach's story of the events of the past year.
Although Pressler could not be reached for comment for this article, Burness said the settlement was a way for the University to note Pressler's 16 seasons at the helm of the men's lacrosse program.
‘We regret the negative consequences this decision had on Coach Pressler,’ Burness said. ‘He and Duke reached an amicable, fair financial settlement in which Duke recognized his contributions to the lacrosse program and the circumstances of his departure.’
Pressler appeared on WRAL-TV June 11 to promote his book and discussed what the University can still do to provide resolution to the episode.
‘We're all here for the students in the education business and part of the education process is when you're wrong you admit you're wrong and you tell those people that you've wronged that you're sorry,’ Pressler said. ‘An apology to the players, especially the three indicted boys and all the parents and certainly the former coach and his family would go a long way in healing this episode in our lives and allowing both parties to move on and move forward.’"
"Lacrosse players also have performed well academically. In 2005, twenty seven members of the lacrosse team, more than half, made the Atlantic Coast Conference's Academic Honor Roll, more than any other ACC lacrosse team. Between 2001 and 2005, 146 members of the lacrosse team made the Academic Honor Roll, twice as many as the next ACC lacrosse team. The lacrosse team's academic performance generally is one of the best among all Duke athletic teams.
The team also has distinguished itself athletically. Members of the 2005 team, for example, earned numerous honors on the field. The 2005 ACC Player, Rookie, and Coach of the Year were from Duke. The team also received several national honors. The team lost in last year's NCAA championship game. This year's team was ranked second in preseason polls and was one of the favorites to win this year's national championship.
By all accounts, the lacrosse players are a cohesive, hard working, disciplined, and respectful athletic team. Their behavior on trips is described as exemplary. Players clean the team bus before disembarking. Airline personnel have complimented them for their behavior. They observe curfews. They obey the team's no alcohol rule before games. They are respectful of people who serve the team, including bus drivers, airline personnel, trainers, the equipment manager, the team manager, and the groundskeeper.
Finally, the lacrosse program has a 100% graduation rate. Alumni of the program apparently contribute to the community after college. We received letters of support for the team from two recently graduated former players who are presently serving in Iraq. A remarkable number of alumni are volunteer coaches for their local lacrosse teams. Many are employed in prestigious positions in business, law, and medicine. As evidenced by their support of the current team, alumni of the lacrosse program and their families are fiercely loyal to each other, to the lacrosse program, and to Duke."
'During my sophomore year I was involved in an off the field incident stemming from underage drinking. Coach Pressler’s policy from the day I arrived on campus was no matter what kind of troubling situation came up he wanted to know about it before it was brought to his attention by others. I failed to follow this rule and hoped that he would not find out. When he did find out his punishment was decisive and fair. We were scheduled to travel to West Point that weekend to play the Army. I had made the travel team and was excited about the trip. My family was also coming and my father was especially looking forward to seeing West Point. Upon learning of my incident Coach Pressler pulled me aside after practice and told me to come to his office after I showered. There, he informed me that I was suspended for the Army game and that I would not be making the trip with the team. He asked me to call my dad and tell him to cancel his trip. Coach Pressler was disappointed that I had violated his trust and for weeks I could not look him in the eye without feeling ashamed of what I had done. He was upset about the incident but made more of an issue regarding my violation of his trust. I learned a valuable lesson from him.'
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