Why did the Duke debacle spin so far out of control, so quickly? People jumped to conclusion without having the validated information and data. Trust and verify is something we have all heard many times. So why didn’t the school, the media and the district attorney trust but verify. Had they chosen this route, they would not be eating crow today. The statements of “But what I really meant” are rampant. I believe that their need to have the first “claim to fame” on this high profile story overrode the need for the truth.
Duke University, including the faculty, did not trust the students they scrutinized upon admission। Mike Nifong, North Carolina District Attorney, did not verify the evidence and jumped to very inconclusive, and inappropriate conclusions. The involved boys parents proved Johnny Cochran’s statement to be true, “Innocent until proven broke.” And if not for their financial power, this debacle would not have concluded in favor of the indicted students.

The School
You have read that Duke University announced an undisclosed settlement with the three former student lacrosse players. The education institution knows now that they falsely accused the students in the sexual assault of an exotic dancer. The school had a desire to “eliminate the possibility of future litigation,” said university President Richard Brodhead and Duke’s board of trustees. What a surprise that the terms of the agreement will remain “a private matter.”
Does Duke fall in line with the way you make snap decisions. Have you ever jumped to conclusions without having the proper information? You know you have.
What were they thinking when they immediately and wrongfully accused these boys of this crime. The school said they wanted to make sure the boys no longer had to endure “intense scrutiny.” They should have thought about that before they wrongfully accused them to the press.
Will this lesson change the way you access information। I’ll be the school will!

The Media
Now stating that the events of last year tore the Duke community apart, the media seems to be relenting and researching their information. Why couldn’t they wait until evidence was in and validated? Sensationalism! They want stories to be ugly because more papers are sold. If the media doesn’t start taking personal responsibility for verifying every data point and solidify information, newspaper sales will continue to drop and the downward rating spiral of the Evening News will quicken.
They must take personal responsibility for what they say and print। The real problem is the sensational stories are on page one and the retractions are on the last page where no one will ever see them. I don’t trust much of what I read in the newspaper today. I would much rather create my opinions from looking at several online news feeds. How about you? Do you take one news source and allow that to become your sole opinion? Did you learn a lesson on how and why the media is eating crow because of the Duke debacle?

The Attorney
The North Carolina State Bar has stripped Mike Nifong of his law license after his resignation as district attorney. The three-member bar panel found that Nifong misled defense lawyers and two judges while in charge of the investigation dating back to March 2006. Nifong wants to stay in his position until July 13 but the governor’s deputy press secretary, Seth Effron wants him to step down immediately.
Here’s another surprise। Nifong’s attorney, David Freeman, could not be reached for comments. Did they learn a lesson? Are they tired of eating crow? The proof will be in their behavior in the future. I really believe this event validates the reason there are so many lawyer jokes that are far from complimentary.

The Students
Good news. The students, David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann are requisitioning additional sanctions against Nifong for lying in court about key evidence in the case. At least they can now move forward with their education and lives.
Bad news. These students made a bad choice inviting the exotic dancer to “entertain” them. Hopefully next time they will think through the possible outcomes when deciding what they want to do.
These boys and their families may never recover – emotionally or financially. The real solution is for individuals today to take personal responsibility for their choices. In addition, when there is a difficult decision, stop, think, and understand that you are in charge of the outcomes, including the consequences.
What lesson did you learn from this ugly event? If you are a parent, there are many lessons to be learned. Most particularly, how to teach your kids about responsibility, choices, and outcomes. And when poor choices results in bad outcomes are you ready to apologize?
In the Duke case, where are the apologizes from people like Rev. Al Sharpton who held news conferences and rushed to judgment? How about apologizes from the Duke students who protested outside the lacrosse players’ houses? Or how about requests for forgiveness from any of the accusers?
The lesson for each human being is to remember the damage cannot be undone. Be prepared if those words leave your lips, you are the one responsible for returning with an apology. All the debacles in your life are your responsibility and the damage can rarely be undone.

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  1. The Bee says:

    Great stuff. Trust but verify, personal responsibility – Like Marsha said, we’ve all heard it. Now if we’d all start living it life would be so much easier – especially that “personal responsibility” part. I believe that’s the main ingredient lacking in our society today.

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