PROVIDENCE, R.I. – They're on different teams now, but Mike Pressler and Reade Seligmann still greeted each other with a hug before the game and a friendly handshake afterward.
They found time for some friendly banter, too.
Seligmann, one of the three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, recently transferred to Brown. Pressler, who built Duke into a top national program before being forced to resign as coach more than a year ago, is in his second season leading the Bryant team.
They reunited Sunday as Brown and Bryant, a Division II program in nearby Smithfield, faced each other in a scrimmage. Seligmann is playing college lacrosse for the first time since the spring of 2006, when Duke's season was cut short by rape allegations that prosecutors later determined were false.
It was also his first time competing against Pressler, his former coach.
"Hearing his voice again," Seligmann said after the game, "it brought back a lot of good memories."
The scrimmage was part of a fall tournament hosted by Brown. After the Bears finished their first game of the day, against Fairfield, Seligmann walked off the field, smiling and holding out his arms to hug Pressler. They chatted briefly before rejoining their own teams, then spoke again as the Brown and Bryant players shook hands at the end of their game.
"I remain very close to all those boys, everything we went through for the last 19 months," Pressler said before the game. "And I don't think that'll ever change."
"I'm very happy for Reade, though, because he's happy," Pressler added. "That's all that matters to me."
Both Seligmann and Pressler are now removed from the powerhouse Duke program they once represented. Pressler was forced to resign in April 2006, and the season was canceled, after an exotic dancer hired to perform at a team party alleged she had been raped. Seligmann and two other players, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans, were later indicted on rape charges.
But the allegations proved to have no merit. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges in April and called the players victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." On Friday, the players filed a federal lawsuit against disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong, the city of Durham and the police detectives who handled the case, among others.
But the talk Sunday centered on much lighter topics.
Seligmann, a midfielder listed at 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds, said Pressler teased him about his size, asking, "How much are you weighing today, big boy?"
Pressler said he jokingly warned Seligmann that his team was going to be coming after him.
"Coach, I wouldn't expect anything else," he said Seligmann answered.
Seligmann is in his first semester at Brown, where he said he was adjusting well. Brown coach Lars Tiffany has described him as one of the team's top players.
"Reade's been great — on the field, on campus," Tiffany said earlier in the week. "Everyone's embraced Reade, which has made his transition so much easier."
Meanwhile, Bryant finished 11-4 overall in its first season under Pressler, who was named co-coach of the year in the Northeast-10 conference.
The scrimmage did not count toward either team's overall record and, in fact, the scoreboard didn't even keep a tally of goals. The tournament also involved Fairfield and Vermont.
"It's not Bryant versus Reade," Pressler said. "There's no Mike Pressler versus Reade. It's Bryant versus Brown today."