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Should Duke Lacrosse Players Get Their Eligibility Back?

2007 May 24
by Phil Miller

Duke has made a request to the NCAA that its men’s lacrosse players – who had their season cut short last year by the rape allegations – get that year of eligibility back.

Duke hopes the NCAA will give back the year its men’s lacrosse players lost during last season’s now-debunked rape scandal.

The school is asking the NCAA to grant an extra year of eligibility for team members, who played just eight games in 2006 before the university canceled the rest of the season amid rape allegations against three players.

Still – as his team prepares for this weekend’s Final Four – coach John Danowski figures the proposal is “a long shot.”

The university made the decision to cancel the season in the wake of the allegations, not the NCAA. Unfortunately for the players, Duke must deal with the consequences. If the NCAA decides to give the eligibility back, it sets a precedent that penalties for wrongly cancelling seasons won’t be as harsh. It is not as if schools will go willy-nilly in cancelling seasons in the future, but it does make a repeat more possible. Universities should not expect a bailout at the hands of the NCAA.

As heinous as the treatment of the players was, the NCAA has no duty to help bail Duke out.

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