Don’t draw conclusion in Duke case yet

Duke University, located in Durham, N.C., can trace its history back to 1838 when Methodist and Quaker families hired their first teacher.

Duke University promotes its motto of “Knowledge and Religion.”

However, this saying was nowhere on the minds of the public when members of the Duke University Lacrosse team were accused of raping a black exotic dancer at a team party, which one of the students held at his house on March 13.

Duke University is a school where athletes are used to receiving any privilege they desire, including women.

Because the 27-year-old exotic dancer is black and the players of the lacrosse team are white, many have come to believe that the situation is racist.

I don’t know for certain if those allegations are true, but I can’t help consider what would happen if the situation was vice-versa.

Let me paint a picture for you.

If the players on the lacrosse team were black and the female dancer was white, then how would the scenario play out? The same?

This is an assumption I have made from witnessing through the media other cases where black athletes have been accused of similar charges, even, in fact, if the act was consensual with the woman. Don’t you remember Kobe Bryant?

“Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead announced April 5 that the university cancelled the men’s lacrosse team season,” said the Durham Herald-Sun.

Two players have been arrested and charged. One student has been suspended, the lacrosse coach of 16 years has resigned, and three white players still stand accused of rape.

As reported by the Miami Herald, DNA testing came back negative and did not link the DNA found on the dancer to the members of the lacrosse team. On the other hand, District Attorney Mike Nifong said the DNA test results do not mean the case is over by a long shot. Nifong stated, “It doesn’t mean nothing happened, it just means nothing was left behind,” as printed in The Washington Post.

Even though DNA tests have shown the Duke athletes can’t be linked to the incident from the DNA standpoint, it has been proven that in 75 to 80 percent of sexual assaults there has been no DNA evidence to analyze for the case. This has to be some encouragement for the woman.

One thing is for sure, as stated in a headline by the associated press, “Duke Lacrosse Case Not Going Away.”

It seemed at one point athletic officials and athletes at the university were going to try to somewhat push things under the rug. These individuals may still be working with that same motive in mind, but I would think there is no chance for that now.

We will have to wait as a country together to see what will be the final result in this controversial case.

At the end of the day athletes at schools like Duke are brought up to believe they can have any privilege they desire, including women.

I feel that this university would have a hard time dealing with an investigation that would bring these athletes’ image down, whether they committed the rape or not.

Joshua Smith is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Atlanta. He can be reached at