Duke University's highly ranked lacrosse team will not play again this season until school administrators learn more about allegations that several team members raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus party, the school said Tuesday.
President Richard Brodhead decided to suspend the team from play "until there is a clearer resolution of the legal situation involving team members," the university said.
The case has roiled the campus, raised racial tensions and heightened antagonism between the affluent students at Duke, which costs about $43,000 a year, and the city of Durham, which has a large population of poor people and is about evenly divided between white and black.
A woman told police she and another dancer were hired to perform March 13 at a private party in an off-campus home. The dancer, a student at North Carolina Central University, told police she was pulled into a bathroom, beaten, choked and raped by three men. No one has been charged. Read more.
FNC wants to know what YOU think —
Should the entire team be punished for the alleged actions of a few?
E-mail us at email@example.com and jump into the debate!
Here's what people in the news are saying:
"In this painful period of uncertainty, it is clear to me, as it was to the players, that it would be inappropriate to resume the normal schedule of play." — Duke University President Richard Brodhead
"We also stated unequivocally that any allegation that a sexual assault or rape occurred is totally and transparently false." — The captains of the Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team
"I feel pretty confident that a rape occurred...The circumstances of the rape indicated a deep racial motivation for some of the things that were done. It makes a crime that is by its nature one of the most offensive and invasive even more so." — District Attorney Mike Nifong
"The students would be well-advised to come forward. They have chosen not to." Duke Provost — Peter Lange
Here's what FOX Fans are saying!
"The team members' priorities are a bit screwed up. They won't speak up against each other, which means they won't tell the truth as to what happened. If the team wants to back up a few individuals who have no control and should be castrated (for the rape), then they are accessories and should be banished from all sports." — Gary (Fairborn, OH)
"Yes. The whole team should be punished. These allegations are for a serious crime, not just a college prank. The military often disciplines an entire unit on the actions of just one or two soldiers. This teaches the team concept, and the lesson that the sum of many members is one united body." — Richard (Des Moines, IA)
"Since they are banding together to protect the offenders, they should not be shown any consideration. If they were good young men, they would be horribly upset that their friends had done such a thing." — Glenda
"No, this is an allegation, there haven't even been any arrests yet. I can't believe they would punish a team for an allegation. Whatever happened to proof, or to being innocent until proven guilty?" — John (Maryland)
"Absolutely, yes. If they won’t cooperate with the investigation, then they are all responsible to some degree." — P.J.
"Sometimes it takes the act of punishing the whole team to generate internal policing by team members themselves. When one person breaks the rules, (or laws in this case) then everyone is punished, to create some level of internal self-discipline. I remember, in track practice, when one person started walking up the hill, everyone had to go back to the bottom, and start to the run up the hill again. It works: the bum either quits, or gets it together." — John (Sturgis, SD)
"Anyone not participating in the rape has no moral obligation to protect those who did. This is no time to be a 'team player,' and I believe that's exactly what's going on here. In my opinion, they're all guilty to some degree. Either they violated the woman or they are covering up for those who did. They have disgraced their school, the sport, and themselves. Punish them all." — April (Illinois)
"I'm sorry, but this whole thing is pathetic. Maybe a rape occurred, maybe not — that will come out as the process moves forward, but the whole team has already been convicted here. It's bad either way." — Chris (Apex, NC)
"By looking at statements from team captains and other members thus far, I would say the full-team suspension is warranted. Too often crimes like this go unsolved because others have the answers but won't come forward." — Mark (Charleston, SC)
"Since nobody on the team is answering questions, I think the university had no choice but to cancel the season. If the team members who witnessed this act were to speak up, the violators would be punished and not the entire team. It's the silence that is causing this punishment, not 'the actions of a few.'" — Vickie
"For the DA to make a strong statement, it is highly likely that something sinister did occur. Students tend to stick together rather than 'ratting' on each other. So, if no one on the team is willing to cooperate and come forward with the truth, then I agree that the entire team should be punished." — Judy (Lumberton, NC)
"The DA believes a crime has been committed and the students involved have not come forward. The university has no other option than to suspend the entire team until more information is available." — D.M. (Dallas, TX)
"If the non-offending team members don’t step forward, then they are accomplices and should be punished. I say the best punishment is to kick everyone off the team and recruit new for next year. I bet then some would be willing to talk!" — George (Plano, TX)