April 5, 2006

Rape allegation spurs action at university

By Gene Cherry

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Duke University's men's
lacrosse coach resigned and the team's season was canceled on
Wednesday after weeks of protests over an exotic dancer's
allegations that she was raped by three men at a team party
last month.

The actions, announced by the university in a statement,
followed the release of a previously sealed warrant that said a
person using the e-mail account of a lacrosse team player had
sent a message saying he wanted to invite more dancers to his
dormitory room to kill and skin them.

"Tomorrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have
some strippers over," the e-mail message said, according to the
warrant affidavit. "However there will be no nudity. i plan on
killing bitches as soon as the walk in and proceeding to cut
their skin off."

The message was sent from the e-mail account of lacrosse
player Ryan McFadyen shortly after the dancer, whose is black,
told police on March 14 she had been raped by three white men
at an off-campus team party the previous night, the warrant

"The court released today a previously sealed warrant,
whose contents are sickening and repulsive," Duke University
President Richard Brodhead said in his statement canceling the
rest of the team's season. He previously suspended play until a
police investigation of the alleged incident was completed.

Attorneys for the players have denied a rape took place,
but the prosecutor has said he believes the woman's story.

The university also announced the resignation of Mike
Pressler, who had had coached the nationally ranked lacrosse
program for 16 years.

"I fully support President Brodhead's decision to cancel
the remainder of the season as well as his outrage at the
latest developments involving the men's lacrosse program," Duke
Athletic Director Joe Alleva said in a statement. "I believe
this is in the best interests of the program, the department of
athletics and the university."

Protests have roiled the campus and the incident has
attracted wide media attention as investigators await the
results of court-ordered DNA tests of 46 of the team's players.

No charges have been filed but accusations by the dancer, a
student at a predominantly black university in Durham, have
heightened tension between residents of the North Carolina city
and Duke, one of America's top universities.

McFadyen has been suspended from the university, his
lawyer, Glen Bachman, told The News & Observer of Raleigh.

"I think it was a safety concern for him and the
university," Bachman said in an interview, the newspaper
reported on its Web site.