Settlements With Lax Coach, Players

August 1, 2007

In June, Duke announced that it had reached a settlement with former lacrosse team members David Evans '06, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann, who were declared innocent of all legal charges in April.

The specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed. It extends to all matters to date involving Duke and its staff and faculty members and includes no admission of wrongdoing.

In a statement, the board of trustees said it had "determined that it is in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward." The three former team members, in their own statement, praised Duke's balance of athletics and academics and said they were initially drawn to the university for its sense of community. "We were the victims of a rogue prosecutor concerned only with winning an election, and others determined to railroad three Duke lacrosse players and to diminish the reputation of Duke University," they said.

Both parties have promised to work to ensure that "similar injustices" are prevented in the future. The prosecutor in the case, Michael B. Nifong, has since been disbarred and has resigned his post as Durham County district attorney.

Separate settlements, with former men's lacrosse coach Mike Pressler and former lacrosse player Kyle Dowd, who alleged that a bad grade he received was related to his team affiliation, were reached earlier this spring. The terms of these settlements were also kept private.