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Brown University Welcomes Duke Rape Case Victim:

Sophomore Reade Seligmann was one of the victims of the false rape case at Duke University. The Brown University lacrosse coach, with support from the school's administration, recruited Seligmann for the Brown team, and he will enroll at Brown this fall. As a Brown Daily Herald article explains, Brown's new coach began recruiting Seligmann "almost immediately" after being hired last August. Although the malicious prosecution had not yet collapsed, the coach talked to people in the lacrosse community who knew Seligmann, and was "absolutely convinced" of Seligmann's innocence. According to the BDH, "Seligmann, who says he always wanted to attend an Ivy League school, chose Brown over the other two or three schools that were interested in him because of how the University treated him. They allowed him to visit the campus when he wasn't even allowed back at Duke."

Three cheers for my alma mater for standing up for truth and justice.

Oh c'mon:
It is very nice that Mr. Seligman gets to go to Brown after that shameful prosecution.

But is Brown really standing up for truth and justice, or just attempting to cherry pick a lacrosse player from a much more powerful team? Let's not be congratulatory here. If Mr. Seligman was a physicist or an undergrad in the Classics department, would Brown have worked so hard and treated him so well? [Probably not]
7.28.2007 6:25pm
Oh c'mon:
I think the "truth and justice" view is especially shaky, considering they started recruiting Mr. Seligmann while he was still being prosecuted for rape.
7.28.2007 6:30pm
Elliot123 (mail):
He was being prosecuted for rape, however, many discerning people didn't choose to follow Nifong's lead. And they were right. Three cheers for Brown!
7.28.2007 7:06pm
Sam (mail):
Oh c'mon: just go read the Durham in Wonderland blog, things were stinky in spring 2006, by the fall, even 60 Minutes could smell the odor.
7.28.2007 7:11pm
whit:
"I think the "truth and justice" view is especially shaky, considering they started recruiting Mr. Seligmann while he was still being prosecuted for rape."

anybody with a brain not infected by feminist thinking (e.g. feministing members, etc.) knew the case was rubbish LONG before it "officially" collapsed.

sam is correct btw. the durham in wonderland blog has been excellent.
7.28.2007 7:29pm
Eli Rabett (www):
As another Brown alum, let me say that I am less than thrilled. I wonder also if Larry Pressler having caught on with nearby (to Brown) Bryant College has anything to do with this. No one in this mess has anything to be proud of, some more less than others. Having early on decided that the case was a mess, I have not followed the gory details, but it was clear that the Duke lacrosse team was an out of control group.

For anyone interested, there is a Reade Seligman news aggregator
7.28.2007 9:31pm
paul lukasiak (mail):
"Three cheers for my alma mater for standing up for truth and justice. "

...and white racism.

There is no question that the Duke prosecution represented an abuse of prosecutorial power.

There is also no question that the Duke Lacrosse team acted like a bunch of unreconstructed racists jerks that nihgt.

I have no problem with people that rail against Nifong. But the idea that the Lacrosse players are heroic figures, deserving of admiration and accolades, is simply beyond the pale.
7.28.2007 9:37pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
IIRC, Reade Seligmann was the player who was able to prove positively that he was not even physically present at the time of the alleged attack, via a video camera at an ATM machine.
7.28.2007 10:10pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
paul lukasiak:

Tell me more about white racism in the context of the CT family just wiped out by 2 black cons.
7.28.2007 10:19pm
Steven Vickers:
IIRC, Reade Seligmann was the player who was able to prove positively that he was not even physically present at the time of the alleged attack, via a video camera at an ATM machine.


Correct, which is what makes statements like paul lukasiak's so appalling--Seligmann is castigated not for what he did, or even what happened where he was, but for the behavior of teammates, an incredible standard which no one would think of applying in other circumstances.
7.28.2007 10:20pm
happylee:
Why would the kid go from one hyper-pinko institution to another? It makes no sense. Next year we'll be hearing some story from a new victim, probably an overweight black lesbian, claiming that he 'touched her' or 'verbally molested her' or whatever. 'Cause, ya' know, all white jocks who have successful parents are little eichmans...bla bla...so what's wrong with framing a "guilty" guy?

Good luck.
7.28.2007 10:49pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
The lacrosse community welcomed him. To the Angry Studies department, he's a marked man.
7.28.2007 11:30pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Lukasiak knows Seligman wasn't at the party and had nothing to do with the non-goings-on there.
He also knows, or is negligent in not knowing, that the Duke laxers were, in the context of college groups, better than average in graduation rates, community service and so forth.
But he hopes, for some reason, that there may be somebody in reach of his voice who doesn't know this.
Who on earth doesn't know better, Paul Lukasiak? Who?
7.28.2007 11:33pm
Steve:
Tell me more about white racism in the context of the CT family just wiped out by 2 black cons.

Sounds like you could tell us a lot about the topic.

Lukasiak knows Seligman wasn't at the party and had nothing to do with the non-goings-on there.

He wasn't at the party? Oh, you're a real defender of the truth, for sure.
7.29.2007 12:00am
frankcross (mail):
This topic certainly brings out the kooks.
7.29.2007 12:19am
A. Zarkov (mail):
" … but it was clear that the Duke lacrosse team was an out of control group."

How was it clear, and what do you mean by "out of control."

This case was suspicious right from the onset. For one thing the incidence of white on black rape is rare to non-existent. For example look at Table 42 for the years 2003-2005 from the National Criminal Victimization Survey published by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics. Note for each of these years the sample populations contained zero white-on-black sexual assaults. Note that before 2003 the definition of "white" included Hispanics, so even the small number of rapes on blacks before 2003 could very well have come from Hispanics. Note also that "sexual assault" is a far broader category than "rape," and includes less serious offenses such as inappropriate touching and verbal threats of rape.

The accuser was an obvious low-life. In 2003 she plead guilty to four misdemeanors: Speeding to elude arrest, assault against a government official, DWI level 3, and larceny. She had three driving license suspensions. She worked for an escort service which suggests prostitution.

To say that the team was "out of control" perpetuates the hoax by implying that "something must have happened." Even Nifong has given up on this idea.
7.29.2007 12:36am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Eli:
I have not followed the gory details, but it was clear that the Duke lacrosse team was an out of control group.
Perhaps you should have followed the gory details, and you'd have learned that this was "clearly" wrong. In fact, Duke commissioned a report, at a time when many people still thought there was a rape, which found to the contrary. Other than some underage drinking, which is not "out of control" so much as it is perfectly normal for college students, there were no issues with the lacrosse team. No sexual assaults, no violence, no academic problems. Nothing.

Lukasiak:
There is also no question that the Duke Lacrosse team acted like a bunch of unreconstructed racists jerks that nihgt.
Actually, there is a question; in fact, there's no evidence of that at all. In fact, after one of the strippers made a racist comment to a team member, one player -- not "the Duke Lacrosse team" -- made a single racist comment in reply. That's it.


EIDE:
Tell me more about white racism in the context of the CT family just wiped out by 2 black cons.
Unless you're talking about an incident other than that involving the Petit family, the accused are white, not black.
7.29.2007 1:02am
TJIT (mail):
The Duke case provided a excelent opportunity to educate the general public about the dangers of out of control police and prosecutors.

Unfortunately Eli Rabett and paul lukasiak have taken the same disappointing position on the duke case that many liberals / progressives have. They have decided the obvious injustice here is not as important as the race and class issues this case presents.

That is they find the concepts of class and race more important then minor little details like prosecutorial misconduct and actual innocence of the accused.

It has been educational to find out what they find class more important then justice.
7.29.2007 1:14am
occidental tourist (mail):
The last time I commented on this case in a Stuart Benjamin thread in April, I gave a rendition of fraternal life(not fraternity per se )in the analogous neighborhoods around Brown University, where I mangage apartment buildings, akin to Eli Rabett's read on the Duke case.

I was roundly (although not widely) criticized as having a "typical[ly].. elitist attitude[] towards frats and jocks for despairing of a "lemming like lowest common denominator" that animated the social style of a noticeable fraction of the Brown students on whose lives I have a window. As a campus brat whose interface with the university hews more to a philosphical version of Matt Damon's mathematical savant in Good Will Hunting I find it a bit funny to be accused of elitism by a former fraternity member and lacrosse player — but on this thread there seem to be a few more of we elitists - whatever our pedigree.

Those who thought the Lacrosse team might have done something untoward were cast on the Benjamin thread as silly and prudish to think that hiring strippers and throwing a good bacchanalia was outside the mainstream of decorous college social activity. (or maybe it wasn't such a great bacchanalia after all according to Newsweek: "After an afternoon and evening of desultory drinking games such as Beer Pong, about 30 players were sprawled on the floor or sitting on a ring of couches arranged around the stage—a ratty, tan carpet...Later, when the night was played up as a violent bacchanal, a "Boys Gone Wild" situation, Seligmann would reflect that anyone watching the real thing would have been "bored to tears.")

But my point was not based in moral condemnation of the substance abuse and sexual gawking that attends any adolescent mind including my own. I did not say that:

we have received more than two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.



My objection has been not to the occasional or regular drunken orgy, but the lack of self discipline that members of these virtual fraternities exhibit when they are not intoxicated: kicking in each others doors, kicking railings off of porches, brawling, etc. This is but a portion of the students that I deal with, but this phenomenon has definitely increased in the last 10 years.

I tend to view the ingrained attitudes about the propriety, or lack of impropriety, in this behavoir as translating from the social permissions that Gladwell reported on in The Tipping Point (no ecstatic fan of this treatise as having eponymous effect as its title, but I think he had a few perceptive moments). We have drunken orgies and kick the crap out of our houses and nobody says boo anymore, so why not just kick the crap out of them when we're not drunk.

Of course we say boo when retaining portions of the security deposit, but it is impractical to intervene in the daily life of these students. So every year we put the doors back together and put rails on the porches and they do it again, because they remember the kids last year did it - or maybe its genetic — nature, nurture, you got me. I ain't whining, its my job, goes with the territory. I'm just reporting what a fly on the wall has to say about college housing.

And nevermind self discipline, what about civility. Newsweek's seemingly reasonable retelling of events, that is not unsympathetic to the three defendants in the rape case, That Night at Duke, cites the following events and exchange during the performance paid for by the Duke Lacrosse players:


Evans explained to his teammates that he and the other captains had requested white dancers, but that a black woman and a Hispanic woman had shown up. No one seemed to care, according to the statement given to police by Zash. One of the strippers appeared to be intoxicated and had trouble standing up, much less dancing. Halfheartedly, she began kissing the other dancer, Kim Roberts...

...The performance lasted all of five minutes. One of the players crudely inquired if the dancers had any sex toys. Roberts, the dancer Evans identified as "Hispanic" (she is actually part African-American, part Asian), asked if the player's penis was too small, according to all three captains' police statements. The player then brandished a broomstick and said, "Use this"—or words to that effect."

The exchange broke up the performance. Roberts and the other dancer fled to the bathroom. Some of the players angrily protested that they had been hustled or shortchanged and demanded their money back—$800, paid in advance, for a two-hour show. A few suggested calling the police.



I understand that we're talking about 'off campus' housing but we aren't really talking about people whose behavior is independent of their collegiate life. Thus while Nifong lead everybody on a wild goose chase of a rape charge, Duke would have been well within the confines of its role to mete out serious discipline for the team where many of its members collectively acted in direct contravention of various college prohibitions (not meaning to say those PC ones like you can't complain about the ethnicity of your stripper, but the ones that suggest that you deport yourself in off campus activity as a gentlemen lest the college wear out its welcome in the community, not to mention the widely flouted but obvious prohibition on underage drinking which is the very reason this party was held in a private residence rather than at a strip club.).

Indeed it seems the college could have punished this behavior in ways that fall not so far short of that which actually resulted for the majority of those who participated in the party, which is to say suspension of some part of the Lacrosse schedule, disciplining or possibly dismissing coaches who seemed to coddle such behaviorists, etc.

Of course this kind of thing goes on all the time at Duke, as noted in the Newsweek article, and is seldom punished. But for these sensational allegations of rape, the party would have gone down as one more hum drum night of college life. But that is the thesis that supports Ward Churchill's dismissal. He falsified his resume, plagarized, engaged in sock puppetry [do you know what they do to puppets in prison]and nobody did a thing about it until he made himself a controversial center of attention.

It seems to me that a solid majority, perhaps even a veto-proof majority, of the conspiracy were of the opinion that the reason the college was looking into Churchill's transgressions could not excuse them. I don't think anyone is denying that these Lacrosse players brought these women into their lives of their own accord. Every once and a while, when you play with fire, you're going to get burnt.

All (and I do mean all)that said,I tend to agree with David Kopel here rather than Eli Rabett (although hope both of them will look me up when they are back for a reunion, so I may introduce them to some solid students, recent alumni, and a very few faculty, who are doing a commendable job carrying on a broader philosophical and policy discussion on the Brown campus ). I don't paint with a broad brush, nor contend that all students, or all student athletes, lack self discipline or good manners - traits which might have been a fair reason to be concerned about Seligman's admission.

I don't have enough information on Reade Seligman to place him with precision on this behavior scale. But, aside from having an essentially airtight alibi to the rape charge (and yet having faced the third degree as one of the unlucky chosen 3 fingered by a mendacious misfortunate trapped in the story she had spun by a prosecutor who was as out of control as any of the college students he wished to upbraid), Newsweek has Seligman "recoiling as he watched the dancers", saying: "we didn't know how to react. It was disgusting. I was very uncomfortable and I wasn't the only one.", and having left the party shortly thereafter before discussion of demanding a refund — which isn't to hold forth on the merits of the conduct of commerce here, notwithstanding the broomstick remark, but to show that Seligman does not appear to be an instigator or central participant in much of this.

Thus I think Eli's concerns somewhat unsupported by the evidence and I do commend Brown for reaching through the politically correct haze that had come to surround this case. I don't necessarily see Seligman as a hero, or some kind of second coming. There surely was some self-interest reflected by all the parties to the 'negotiation' that brought him to Brown - as there probably ought to be.

Just as the course of events cursed Seligman more fiercely than he ought to have been for his role, it may indeed have blessed him and Brown with an expanding outlook.

I'm with David absent evidence to the contrary.

Brian
7.29.2007 2:03am
occidental tourist (mail):
PS:

These guys don't look black to me. I think there is plenty of racism to go around in all colors but that we dwell on the issue far more than necessary.

Certainly EDIE_interface's incorrect report on the ethnic background of the Connecticut home invasion (which David might what to bracket so folks reading that far don't mistakenly believe it or think we believe it) is no more race conscious in an inappropriate way than Paul Lukasiak's casting the Seligman's Brown admission in that context.
7.29.2007 8:52am
Lonetown (mail):
Well, I for one have to admit, I thought a University like Brown would have been overwhelmed by political correctness.

I stand corrected and for that Brown deserves my praise.
7.29.2007 9:56am
Rickbert (mail) (www):
"Brown University Welcomes Duke Rape Case Victim"

You'll forgive me, perhaps, if I explain that when I saw the headline for this post I thought you were quoting an actual newspaper headline. I assumed 'Duke rape case victim' was a reference to the original accuser. Or maybe it was the other way around. Seeing 'Duke Rape Case Victim' made me think anyone using that phrase in reference to the original accuser implies it was a quote from a print newspaper headline.

That would, at least, explain why I no longer subscribe to print newspapers.
7.29.2007 11:20am
Eli Rabett (www):
In the main I agree with the occidental tourist, with perhaps a bit more of a cynical take on Brown as an institution having during my time there associated with folk in the admissions and athletics departments.

However, this thread has turned up a much more serious issue and that is EIDE's little white robe drive by

Tell me more about white racism in the context of the CT family just wiped out by 2 black cons.

Of course it turns out to be two white guys wiping out a Connecticut family as pointed out by the occidental tourist.

Admittedly I am negligent for not trying to find the source of this racist spew which is all too typical of this place.
7.29.2007 11:37am
AppSocRes (mail):
Lest anyone think that Brown has become a hotbed of reaction against political correctness, the University also recently hired away from UC the professor who was responsible for getting Ward Churchill tenure and a chairmanship.
7.29.2007 11:39am
JBX:
Truth and justice, or another example of an Ivy League school bending over backwards to recruit "student-athletes"?
7.29.2007 11:42am
Tony Tutins (mail):
I'm a bit disappointed in the discussion here. On a legal blog such as VC, I'd expect some discussion of the lacrosse team's remedies for the women's breach of a contract to perform an erotic show for two hours in exchange for $800, by a reportedly non-erotic, desultory, five minute performance, with one performer completely intoxicated.
7.29.2007 1:17pm
Neo (mail):
From "Tony Tutins" comment, I guess there should be a dicussion about whether or not the women's breach of a contract was her motive for claiming rape.
7.29.2007 3:35pm
Kurt A (mail):
While I'd say that the Lacrosse coach at Brown showed courage in trying to recruit Mr. Seligman, I have to wonder how Mr. Seligman will fit in at Brown, where, despite his innocence, I suspect he will still be treated as a person of suspicion by a good number of the politically correct factions on campus. I hope that's not true, but from what I observed on and immediately around the Brown campus the last time I was in Providence (about three or four years ago), I suspect he won't find Providence all that different from Durham.
7.29.2007 3:47pm
markm (mail):
Neo: After she left the fraternity, she was picked up by the police for public intoxidation. Claiming she'd been raped got the cops to take her to the hospital instead of the drunk tank. IIRC, the police report made it clear that she only definitely claimed rape after the cops made her choices clear. So from day 1, there was a clear motive to lie in the record - and yet, what Nifong and the police investigators did was to give her repeated chances to make her story better match what they found out about that night from other sources, not to mention repeated photo lineups, finally with no one who hadn't been at the party, which was the first time she picked out anyone who'd been present. When Seligman then proved that he had left before the alleged rape could have occurred, the authorities started pressuring other witnesses to change the timeline...
7.29.2007 5:40pm
gDOG (mail):
Delighted the Duke guys got into Brown but let's not use the 'V' word. This whole victimization thing is out of control.

I would hate to be perpetually referred to as a 'victim' . The guy is not some helpless object worthy of only our pity. He deserves to be referred to in terms that highlight the strength of his character and his perseverance. Maybe we say the Exonerated Lacrosse player instead. Let's highlight the win not the attack and let the Left keep the word victim. We're better than that.

G
7.29.2007 6:48pm
Mike G (mail):
Remember Brown's experience with lynch mobs about a dozen years ago? Women started writing the names of supposed rapists in the women's restrooms; of course soon quite a number of ex-boyfriends were being libeled by their ex-girlfriends.
7.29.2007 7:22pm
The Ace (mail) (www):
There is also no question that the Duke Lacrosse team acted like a bunch of unreconstructed racists jerks that nihgt.

Really?
Care to explain this? Further, since you, silly white liberal, are defining these terms, how would you know? I mean, you're white, don't experience racism (in your worldview) so really, how could you know this?
7.29.2007 9:45pm
neurodoc:
Brown and Duke are prestigious institutions with loyal alumni who are sure to take umbrage when their alma maters are dissed. It is a bit much, though, to listen to any boasting about the admissions policies of either. Daniel Golden, a WSJ reporter, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for a series of stories that exposed some of the seaminess of certain schools' approach to admissions. Both Brown and Duke were notable for their "outreach" to the the children of celebrities (buzz for a school), the very rich (future donors), and, of course, to athletes, with little or no attention to the applicants' academic qualification and other merits. I though I was fairly sophisticated about the admissions process at the most competitive schools, but my eyes opened wide when I read what went on at those two particular institutions. (see story of casino mogul Steve Wynn's son at Brown, that of the coffee-machine-maker heiress that Duke recruited, and many more) Sorry Professor Adler, but the idea that your alma mater Brown struck a blow for "truth and justice" is risible.

oh c'mon was dead on with the first post to this thread. (I'm not so sure about the second one.)
7.29.2007 10:21pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Seligman is obviously a good lacrosse player.
But the world's full of them. The seamy recruiting of the rich and well-connected, or the athletes may be a spectacle, if anybody could see it, but this is different.
Seligman comes with baggage not resembling a steamer trunk of money.
He brings the likelihood, if not the probability, of trouble with the Angry Studies department harassment by meathead students, some of which might expand to take in the entire lacrosse team as, apparently, happened at Duke.
Brown is taking a risk with this guy.
7.29.2007 10:59pm
whit:
"Duke lacrosse team was an out of control group. "

what complete rubbish.

look, i was in a fraternity in college. i also happened to play (some) lacrosse (it was a club team).

we had parties.

we drank beer. hey, we were even (mostly) under 21!!!!

oh my god. we must have been out of control.

we said dumb things (both drunk and sober - like most people do).

etc. etc.

the idea that these were a bunch of "out of control" kids is just complete hogwash.

and the idea that they are racist is also a bunch of crap.

look, they hired a stripper. so what?

they got drunk. they complained that the stripper sucked (in a sense).

hey, they paid good money and they got (apparently ripped off). so what?

some people just can't give up the desire to blame these guys.

the accused WERE victimized. i am sure they would like to move past that (vs. some people that cling to being victims, even if in fact they never were - ie our 'rape victim' in this case)

the only racists are the people whO ASSUMED that the LAX players were guilty because they were (ostensibly) rich white boys. and everybody knows that rich white boys rape poor black women. it's archetypal after all. it's part of "privilege".

what utter rubbish.
7.29.2007 11:13pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Both Brown and Duke were notable for their "outreach" ... to athletes, with little or no attention to the applicants' academic qualification and other merits.

Yeah, I keep thinking Princeton really wasted an admissions slot on Bill Bradley. Jocks like him never do amount to much.
I respectfully suggest that career success correlates poorly with high school gpa and a cram-school-enhanced SAT. Perhaps Brown and Duke could look at the history of their most notable alumni to verify this. I fear that admitting students relying solely on the two magic numbers would result in a student body comprised largely of grade-grubbing bookworms.
7.29.2007 11:34pm
Mark Bahner (www):

I think the "truth and justice" view is especially shaky, considering they started recruiting Mr. Seligmann while he was still being prosecuted for rape.


It was pretty obvious very early that the men were being wrongly prosecuted. Mr. Seligmann was still being prosecuted LONG after a bank videotape showed him not to be present at the time of the alleged rape.
7.29.2007 11:47pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

EIDE:

Tell me more about white racism in the context of the CT family just wiped out by 2 black cons.


Even if the perps had actually been black and shouting "kill whitey" during the murder, it still wouldn't have proven your point. The existence of black-on-white crime... even black-on-white hate crime does not disprove the existence of white racism. In fact, it would make white racism MORE likely, since in my experience racism is engendered mainly by racism.

on the other hand...


Admittedly I am negligent for not trying to find the source of this racist spew which is all too typical of this place.


Racist spew merely "typical" of this place? Come on, tell us what you REALLY think, don't hold back!

Thank God he hasn't yet found the ultra-secret white power permathread, which you need your neocon decoder ring to access.

Oops.
7.30.2007 1:07am
theobromophile (www):
Agree with Richard Aubrey - this guy comes with baggage. Heck, 88 professors at Duke all but swore out a fatwa against the lacrosse players. Is there any reason to think that Brown profs would be different?

People still talk about how Tufts admitted Gina Grant in 1990, after Harvard revoked her admission. Even the super-talented athletes are forgotten after they graduate (unless they go pro, and the US isn't really into pro lacrosse); Brown stood to lose a lot more than it could gain by having this notorious of a student.


Perhaps Brown and Duke could look at the history of their most notable alumni to verify this. I fear that admitting students relying solely on the two magic numbers would result in a student body comprised largely of grade-grubbing bookworms.

That's what law school admissions is all about.....
7.30.2007 4:16am
neurodoc:
Yeah, I keep thinking Princeton really wasted an admissions slot on Bill Bradley. Jocks like him never do amount to much. I respectfully suggest that career success correlates poorly with high school gpa and a cram-school-enhanced SAT. [Tony Tutins]
Did Bradley have unimpressive high school grades and SAT scores, so that he wouldn't have qualified for Princeton or another top-notch school but for his prowess in basketball? I very much doubt that was the case with this banker's son from Missouri who reputedly had such a strong work ethic. (I'll bet dollars to donuts on my "hunch" that his SAT scores were substantially higher than those of Al Gore, George Bush, and John Kerry, all privileged and graduates, though not such academically distinguished ones, of some this country's most elite prep schools - St. Albans, Andover, and St. Pauls.)

"Jocks like him...," would those be people like Byron "Whizzer" White (UofColorado, NFL, Yale Law School, Supreme Court), Gerald Ford (UofMichigan, Yale Law School, minority leader of House, VP, and Prez); Henry Paulson (Dartmouth, Harvard Business School, prez Goldman Sachs, Secretary of Commerce); etc., etc., etc. If you are going to set up a straw man argument (all jocks are dumb) in order to then knock it down and prove some bogus point, then you should start with something like a plausible straw man for your purposes, which Rhodes Scholar Bill Bradley is most definitely not.

Bill Bradley as "surprise" success story reminds me of Mark Twain's story about his father: Twain said that when he was 16 years old, he thought his father was surely one of the stupidest men in the world. When he was 21 years old, he thought his father was surely one of the smartest men in the world. Twain professed never to understand how his father had managed to learn so much in a mere 5 years. Bill Bradley must be as impressive for intellectual growth as Twain's father, since in a mere 4 years Bradley went from being an academically unpromising high school student to a Rhodes Scholar.
I respectfully suggest that career success correlates poorly with high school gpa and a cram-school-enhanced SAT. Perhaps Brown and Duke could look at the history of their most notable alumni to verify this. I fear that admitting students relying solely on the two magic numbers would result in a student body comprised largely of grade-grubbing bookworms.
Studies have been done on those who are admitted primarily for their athletic prowess rather than academic merits do after they are admitted. Not surprisingly, those athletes for whom the academic bar had to be lowered underperform their classmates in just about every imaginable way. Yes, the notion of a "well-rounded" student body may have something to recommend it, but athletics are not what colleges should be about, and they have had an unhealthy, if not frankly corrupting, effect on a great many schools, including some of our more prestigious ones.
7.30.2007 7:59am
occidental tourist (mail):
AppSocRes:

Lest anyone think that Brown has become a hotbed of reaction against political correctness, the University also recently hired away from UC the professor who was responsible for getting Ward Churchill tenure and a chairmanship.


This is absolutely true, but one must recall that faculty hire faculty. This is the last bastion. There are chinks in the post modernist armor at Brown - most notably a student body, though by no means anything but grossly left leaning, that is more emperically minded, questioning and recently demonstrating a preference for debating contentious philosophical and policy positions rather than demanding the censorship of views not corresponding to PC tenets.

The change is palpable from the helplessly childish response to Horowitz's polemical ad in the Brown Daily Herald arguing against reparations in 2001 to a frank and reasonably respectful debate between college Republicans and Democrats prior to the presidential elections of 2004, to a nonsensational welcome for Rick Santorum at a campus lecture last year where many disagreed with him forcefully, but through the prism of rational discourse.

In 2000,in my estimation, you could not have held a serious debate prior to the presidential election without the speakers on behalf of Bush being catcalled and shouted down. Rick Santorum or someone like him could not have spoken on campus without disruption, if disruption in advance of any such proposed speech did not lead to its cancellation in the first place.

The administration of the school has a mixed record on its rhetorical commitment to encouraging academic engagement as a method for advancing and maturing student viewpoints as an alternative to the prejudicial agitation that has used social enforcement as a tool to advance ideological conformity -- ,i.e. PC.

I have to agree with those who look at the Seligman admission as having more potential downside than upside for the university. In that regard I think the decision is one showing the administration conforming some of its actions to its rhetoric. (The Slavery and Justice process would support the opposing view, that it is business as usual generating 'scholarship' designed to advance victimhood. The actual history work in the report is of good quality, but the ideologically bruted soft [in-kind] reparations proposed are a continuing echo of the one great Bushism - the soft bigotry of lowered expectations. In the ashes of a failed great society it tries in its own little way to rebuild the same thing.)

Against this backdrop of an inkling of change on campus, I think it not unlikely that there will be some reactionary attention to Seligman's matriculation but equally likely that most students would maintain an open mind. If he is unreasonably attacked, I think a broader array of students would rise to his defense than just the small classic liberal blossoming with which I have been working.
7.30.2007 11:37am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
occidental.

I hope you're right. However, the buttheads raise the level of their actions right up to the actionable. To "defend" in any meaningful way means to trump them, which is to say, do something possibly illegal.
For example, if a person is in your way screaming at you, you have to go around him instead of over him. In a sense, you are diminished. If you are faced with, say, five of them on a sidewalk, your detour is substantial.
Snide remarks by a professor cannot be defended against, or even objected to.
What would Seligman's defenders do besides tell him to hang in there?
And it only takes a couple of dozen radicals to make significant trouble.
Do you think the Brown administration would be better than Columbia's when the latter was "defending" speech in the Minuteman lecture case?
7.30.2007 11:51am
occidental tourist (mail):
PS - Should also give credit to a noted project in the Political Science department that is actually broadening dialogue within the curriculum and attracting a miniscule but distinct minority of classically liberal faculty.
7.30.2007 11:53am
Tony Tutins (mail):
If you are going to set up a straw man argument (all jocks are dumb) in order to then knock it down and prove some bogus point...

I will let Daniel Golden know your opinion of his thesis immediately.
7.30.2007 11:54am
neurodoc:
I will let Daniel Golden know your opinion of his thesis immediately.[Tony Tutins]

Sounds snarky, so I take it you don't agree with me or Daniel Golden, whom I cited for authority. It's not really necessary for you to let Golden know my strongly favorable opinion of his "thesis"(?), since the Pulitzer Prize committee's endorsement of his reporting on college admissions practices, with special attention to both Brown's and Duke's, is a more meaningful endorsement.

I'm not clear what exactly you dispute me on, and in turn, Daniel Golden. You don't believe Golden's accounts of Brown's and Duke's admissions practices where athletes, the very rich, and children of celebrities are concerned? Or you don't think the evidence he brought forward gave a fair picture of those practices? Or you accept that it is indeed so that Duke's development department scouts for kids like the Bunn girl, clearly inferior academic but very rich so potential donors, and goes after them; or Brown is shameless in accepting kids like Steve Wynn's son, who it seems couldn't bring himself even just to fake what is normally expected of students? Or you approve?

No need to tell us that not all jocks are dumb, e.g., Bill Bradley, because we never said, nor suggested anything that silly on its face. If, as you say, you really "fear that admitting students relying solely on the two magic numbers would result in a student body comprised largely of grade-grubbing bookworms," please tell us where you think that has been happening or may happen. CalTech? MIT? U of Chicago? I can't think of many schools where such fears could possibly be warranted, and most certainly not at Brown or Duke given the very active involvement of their athletic departments and development offices in the admissions decisions there.

I know of no unfavorable information about Seligman, indeed it seems he was highly thought of in high school, and not just as a lacrosse player. From his perspective, he is doing what many students do, that is transfer from one school to another; from Brown's perspective they have picked up a good player, maybe even a franchise one, who went "free agent." The "truth and justice" stuff is nonsense.
7.30.2007 3:36pm
theobromophile (www):

The "truth and justice" stuff is nonsense.

A fair number of people maintain that the Duke lacrosse players had it coming; that the stripper was telling the truth; or that being drunk rich white athletes is enough to warrant such an investigation. Brown's actions unequivocally state that the facts matter: that this case is not a metaphor for social problems. The fact that Seligmann could prove that he was elsewhere when this alleged crime took place presumably matters to the university more than the risk from admitting a Gina Grant-type.

Whether that can be elevated to "truth and justice" - or is the foundation thereof - is up for debate.
7.30.2007 4:40pm
neurodoc:
If Duke had a notably weak lacrosse team rather than a contender for the national title before their season was canceled in 2006, and Seligmann had been a bench-warmer rather than a starter on that hypothetically very weak team, then the claim that Brown was "standing up for truth and justice" by accepting him would not be quite so implausible.

I wonder if other schools intent upon taking up the cause of "truth and justice" also tried to recruit Seligmann. (Note that any derision expressed or implied in my posts here is for this notion that this somehow bespoke a commitment to "truth and justice" on Brown's part, not for Seligmann himself, since he has done nothing unworthy.)

And finally, looking back here, I see that I mistakenly addressed myself to Professor Adler, when in fact it was Professor Kopel who launched this thread, attributing lofty motives to his alma mater Brown. I wouldn't expect someone speaking of their mother to be unbiased, nor someone speaking of their alma mater.
7.31.2007 12:37am
occidental tourist (mail):
whit:

what complete rubbish...
the idea that these were a bunch of "out of control" kids is just complete hogwash.


the la[x]y doth protest too much, me thinks

I do not contend that there is no basis for your argument that 'out of control' is an overstatement. But you treat equally reasonable arguments, that the behavior at these team parties should be condemned, as 'rubbish' and 'hogwash'. Strong words when your principal argument appears to be: 'boys will be boys'

I would say there is a not too fine line between 'doing dumb things' and 'being out of control' when the consumer complaint department for the team suggests that these women they hired use a broomstick for a dildo.

The trajectory of these peer communities is clear enough as it is crude remarks of this sort that rule the day while ambivalence and disgust such as Seligman expresses are afterthoughts.

This is not a bunch of prudish moralizing on strippers and underage drinking. But when a team or significant fraction thereof engages in that kind of activity they should not expect to be insulated from repercussions if the adventure goes wrong and the harsh light of the day after should be shown upon their nocturnal goings on.

I don't believe anyone is arguing that those repercussions should include being charged with a rape you didn't commit. You seem to have the mistaken impression that any expression of opprobrium for the behavior of the lacrosse players at Duke amounts to an argument that those singled out deserved what they got.

It is the furthest thing from that. It is a suggestion that boys will be boys but that it is useful for society to condemn raucous and thoughtless behavior before it turns self destructive, or, once it has. In the process we explicate the bases for rules and conventions we propose to be vindicating -- or find they have none and slowly release these strictures.

Brian
7.31.2007 12:39am
Nifonged:
"Strong words when your principal argument appears to be: 'boys will be boys'

I would say there is a not too fine line between 'doing dumb things' and 'being out of control' when the consumer complaint department for the team suggests that these women they hired use a broomstick for a dildo."

Complete and utter sophistry.

The principal argument is certainly not "boys will be boys", its that the state, popular opinion or whatever sentiment shouldn't judge one based on the actions of other people that happen to be affiliated with them, whether its because of race, national origin, or being on the same lacrosse team together.

Reade Seligmann did not order strippers.

Reade Seligmann did not mention anything about a broomstick (Christ, when are people going to give up this point?).

Reade Seligmann made ZERO racial statements.

He was at a party where he apparently didn't find entertainment and left shortly thereafter, yet the state indicted HIM for rape (note, not the lacrosse team, Reade Seligmann).

There is no basis whatsoever for that charge, nor any basis whatsoever that he engaged in "out-of-control" behavior. He behaved like 99% of college guys who aren't complete freaks.

I was in a frat in college, notwithstanding my "nerdy demeanor"--engineering major, high honors dean's list, studied on most weekend nights. But I would occassionally attend parties, and there were certainly meatheads in the frat who engaged in behavior I found distasteful, but I certainly wouldn't expect to be charged with a heinous felony, or have dimwits on message boards make insinuations about me due to my affiliation.

Lane Williamson said it best, "Those who made a rush to judgment based upon an unquestioning faith in what a prosecutor had told them were made to look foolish and many still do look foolish."

And there are foolish people here, regardless of verbosity.
7.31.2007 9:22am
occidental tourist (mail):
Nifonged,

You may or may not have read - given the length of my posts I can't blame anyone for not making the bottom - that I support Seligman's admission at Brown and think the evidence on his individual conduct does suggest he was not an instigator or major figure.

Whit's main argument was along the 'boys will boys' theme -- if you want to go back and read his post which is much shorter. I'm not suggesting there aren't other better arguments including the 'rush to judgment' and 'guilt by association' concerns. (All the more reason I thought he should stop throwing around such categorical characterizations of arguments he disagreed with and actually engage the issues.)

I concede that this argument was largely unrelated to Seligman's admission but this portion of the thread has turned to the group behavior, peer pressure aspects of this kind of de facto fraternity, whether Seligman himself occupied the least pernicious end of the behavior scale or not.

When members of the group remain quiet participants in the face of raucous and intemperate behavior of their team-mates, there is a fair argument to be made that they are implictly endorsing those actions. A purely libertarian argument to the contrary certainly exists - that they have no duty to teach their friends manners or to set limits for others where serious harm cannot be reasonable expected to result from the conduct.

The main point I make regarding Seligman personally is that I find it credible that he was disgusted by the degeneration of the performance but he apparently didn't see fit to object to that trajectory or the remarks of his mates. Instead he left.

I can respect concerns about a rush to judgment given the approach of your eponymous prosecutor in this case, but I don't think it a rush to judgment to give sober consideration to the behavior of team members at a team event and talk about discipline for the team. All I have ever recommended is that punishment for the team was appropriate.

I am open to a debate that punishment should have been suspensions of individual players based on careful parsing of events, but, on balance, after several years of discussion of the events of that evening and in light of the totality of events cataloged in the Newsweek story, believe that discipline to the entire team was appropriate.

If this seems like a rush to judgment to you, I think your standard inadequate.
7.31.2007 11:30am
Nifonged:
"I am open to a debate that punishment should have been suspensions of individual players based on careful parsing of events,"

Well then explain what punishment was merited and who should be punished? The guy who made the broomstick comment? McFayeden's (sp.) e-mail? The fact that the captains hired strippers in the first place? Please tell us. Are we to use this standard for all college students? Have you ever been on a college campus?

And the fact that you reference a "Newsweek" article tells me that you're simply getting your information from poor sources, but I give you credit for at least not citing Duff Wilson's (NYT) lousy reporting.

If that makes me agree with "whit" so be it, I knew this case stunk from the moment Nifong started running his yapper, forgive me if I have little tolerance for those who still see this whole debacle through some half-assed meta-narrative of gender/class/race.

A stripper lied. A prosecutor broke the law. Media, academics and law enforcement behaved badlyl.

And we're upset that someone referenced a broom. Its not just foolishness, its idiocy.
7.31.2007 12:25pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I think the broom was a helpful suggestion after the stripper mentioned she'd left one of her tools in another venue.

The e-mail, as has been said to the point of exhaustion--which is probably the point for overlooking it yet again--was a takeoff on an assigned reading.

And it wasn't even raucous.

And, as has also been discussed, several other Duke groups have had strippers recently. There even appears to have been a real rape at a fraternity house. No potbangers, no howls of outrage. One of the admin explained by saying that this is an age in which we often experiment socially and sexually and sometimes find ourselves in a dangerous situation. The fraternity wasn't disbanded or thrown off campus.

And we're supposed to believe that this concern about Seligman or the laxers in general is a matter of principle. Better luck with some other sale.
7.31.2007 12:55pm
occidental tourist (mail):
I have said that I think serious punishment for the team, forfeiture of games or some part of the season was in order.
The Newsweek piece in question was reasonably sympathetic to the accused lacrosse players and tended to play down any sense that the atmosphere at the party was tantamount to violence or any threat to act upon the lewd comments.

But I am unimpressed by defending this 'team' action with "other folks on campus got away with underage drinking and hiring strippers" line.

If you flout the rules and it becomes an issue you should expect that you might get punished where others don't. You have no warranty as to the perfection of discipline that the college hands out.

This is just what happened to Ward Churchill. Everyone knew he was a fraud but everyone kept quiet about it until his little Eichmann's moment. Of course Nifong and the media blew the whole affair out of all proportion and the campus environment and public discourse about this event did comingle arguments about styles of behavior making the players deserving of and likely guilty of the rape charges or at least some sort of assault.

The lacrosse players, especially those accused, have every right to expect a prosecutor to act with veracity and professionalism and they will inevitably vindicate that right. They have a reasonable expectation not to be found guilty of those crimes in public discourse on their campus, and I think Duke will be roiled for years to come regarding the intemperate and premature actions of the group of 88 especially.

But, in the realm of discipline from the school for flouting prohibitions on underage drinking, which there is no argument was done by a preponderance of team members, they have no right to expect that this behavior will be ignored if they have the misfortune to draw such attention to themselves.

I would agree that there is a serious problem that the discipline the school did hand out was comingled with almost an implicit belief in some kind of assault at the party and thus a perceived 'thin blue line' style refusal to acknowledge this on the part of the team.

And the school fired the coach who might arguably have been the person responsible for meting out the discipline of which I speak.

Upon reflection, I think it appropriate that they should have forfeited several games - don't know the exact length of their season or game count - and possibly benched particular individuals for a longer time.

If the Newsweek article is grossly biased, I'd be interested to know it but don't think it useful to condemn it without examining its contents. If there are accounts that you credit I would look forward to comparing them.

Brian
7.31.2007 1:43pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Occidental. We do need rules and college is one place to learn some of them.
But the issue is not the consistency of the university's discipline system.
The issue is the issues outsiders choose to focus on while others, arguably worse, go unnoted.
And the motivation for the choice.
7.31.2007 2:47pm
neurodoc:
I think the broom was a helpful suggestion after the stripper mentioned she'd left one of her tools in another venue.
[Richard Aubrey]
FWIW here (not much, since pretty far removed from the "truth and justice" claim), I don't think the lax player meant to be "helpful." IIRC, he was responding to the stripper's provocative taunt calling into question his manhood, or the dimensions thereof.

Maybe this thread can be closed out with a show of hands: how many think that Brown was out to strike a blow for "truth and justice"? how many think that Brown saw the opportunity to pick up a good lax player and simply availed itself of that opportunity? how many for "other" (without an opinion; both; neither; something quite different; etc.)
Count me as "opportunity."
7.31.2007 3:42pm