Sorry for the sporadic postings, but I'm trying to get into a work rhythm, and blogging hasn't fit into yet. That'll change, I promise...
Yesterday was not only Memorial Day, but also the National Men's Lacrosse Championship. That means it was the one day 0f the year that I watch the Official Team Sport of Maryland (look it up). As it so happens, Maryland was again well-represented, with Johns Hopkins making it to and winning the National Championship Game. In addition to Hopkins, Loyola, UMBC, Maryland, and Towson also went dancing. Yay for Maryland. What was the world talking about, however? A private, rich, predominantly white school in North Carolina.
The Duke lacrosse team looked poised to make a story book ending to their past 18 months, when Hopkins snatched it away in one of the best lacrosse games ever. Duke's rape scandal almost cost the school the entire program, so be back in the limelight so soon is a major feather in the cap for Duke and other accused and acquitted rapists everywhere.
Lets recap why Duke should not have been afforded a made-for-TV-movie ending. They brought their problems, their "trials and tribulations" (no pun intended) upon themselves. Nobody forced them to have a party. Nobody forced them to have alcohol at the party where most people were under aged. Certainly nobody made them order a stripper. Yes, the stripper turned out to be crazy and a liar, but that doesn't mean that the Duke boys made some bad decisions.
As rich, white, athletic young men with much to lose, they should have known how much of a target was on their collective backs from the beginning. There is an understandable income gap between the types of people who attend college in Durham, NC and the type of people who live there. The stripper (smarter than the average bear) saw the opportunity to take advantage of the wealth and vulnerability of the boys, and she did. It didn't work out in the end, but credit her for taking the chance. The boys should have known it was coming from the minute they invited her to the party, and their shock when the allegations were brought against them is unfounded.
Is it sad they lost their season? Yes. Should the players from that team be granted an extra year of eligibility to compensate? No, because they still got the time to practice and hone their skills that year, and it's entirely their own fault they lost the season. This team isn't the Marshall Football team that came back from a horrific plane crash. They came back from losing very little due to their own bad judgement. Hopkins did the right thing by beating Duke and denying everybody the story book ending. For that, I am grateful.