The independent news organization of Duke University

Rebirth in Durham

On March 27th, the front page of The Chronicle screamed, "MEN'S LACROSSE TEAM FACES RAPE ALLEGATIONS."

A University, not to mention the lives of 41 young adults and their beloved coach would never be the same.

Almost one year later, time is starting to heal the wounds. Though three of the 41 still face decades of jail time on charges of sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping, and though the beloved coach has been all but exiled to Division-II Bryant University, a new coach has started the recovery.

John Danowski, the father of Duke's star senior Matt, came down to Duke after 21 years at Hofstra. He brought with him the strategizing expertise of a former National Coach of the Year, but that's not all.

He also brought a knowledge of the team and the situation that no outsider, hired to impose discipline, could ever bring. As a parent of a player, he, too, is recovering, though maybe not to the same degree of the players themselves. He understands the players' fragility as their lives slowly return to normal.

For all the criticism the administration has gotten regarding their handling and mishandling of the entire lacrosse situation, they did get this one right. Hiring a guy who didn't want to overhaul the program-who understands that the now-infamous party was a bad decision by otherwise good kids-allows the team and its players the opportunity to heal.

But the "Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal" touched more lives than that.

Eighty-eight faculty members signed an ad that appeared in The Chronicle April 6th that featured the tagline "What does a social disaster sound like?" Ever since, the "Group of 88"-as they were dubbed by the media-has been pounded by a nationwide audience for not standing by the accused players. We catch up with some of them in this issue.

And bloggers like KC Johnson, whose Durham-in-Wonderland blog is required reading for the likes of Danowski, have made themselves semi-famous by reporting daily on the scene in Durham.

Yes, a lot has happened since March 27th, 2006. But almost a year later, it looks like Duke Lacrosse-and Duke-will eventually be better than ever.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Rebirth in Durham” on social media.