On Monday, Duke University leaders announced they have reached a settlement with David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. Below are statements about the settlement. "This has been an extraordinary year for Duke students David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, who were accused of serious crimes they did not commit."
Duke attackman Matt Danowski has been named the recipient of the 2007 Tewaaraton Trophy, an honor presented annually to the top men's lacrosse player in the nation. Danowski received the award Wednesday night at a banquet at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. "Winning an award as prestigious as the Tewaaraton Trophy is certainly very humbling," Danowski said. "This honor could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire Duke lacrosse team. I'm indebted to my coaches and teammates for their efforts and support."
The NCAA has granted Duke's request for an extra year of eligibility for its men's lacrosse players following allegations that led to the cancellation of much of last season. The decision affects 33 players who were not seniors during the 2006 season, and it grants them a fifth year of eligibility regardless of whether they play at Duke or another school. The announcement Wednesday came just two days after the Blue Devils lost to Johns Hopkins by a goal in the NCAA championship game.
One of the roles of a coach is to provide his players with guidance they can use for the rest of their lives. Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski certainly had that kind of influence on his band of players. At the end of an emotional season, however, it was Danowski who ended up thanking his team for making him a better man.
Duke's run to the lacrosse national championship fell short on Monday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as the top-seeded and second-ranked Blue Devils fell to third-seeded and third-ranked Johns Hopkins, 12-11. The Blue Devils conclude the season with a 17-3 overall ledger, matching the NCAA record for wins in a season set previously by the 2005 Duke, 2006 Hofstra and 2006 Virginia squads. Johns Hopkins, winning the national crown for a record-matching ninth time, finishing with a 13-4 mark. The Blue Jays also defeated Duke in the 2005 national title tilt, 9-8, in Philadelphia.
There is no consortium of words to adequately describe the agonizing lost just suffered. It is not the game, nor the championship, that fuels the enormity of the despair. Rather, the pain comes from the inability for the men's lacrosse team to deliver the desired gift to their trio of former teammates, to their coach - past and present alike - to their families, to their school, to themselves. They were just one shot off the crossbar away.
There were hugs, handshakes and plenty of tears. The Duke lacrosse team had run through a myriad of emotions over the past 14 months, and now it was over. The Blue Devils had an almost unfathomable comeback fall short in a 12-11 loss to Johns Hopkins in the NCAA championship game Monday, and afterward the locker room was eerily silent.
In the moments prior to the start of Duke's semifinal matchup with Cornell, ESPN's cameras caught head coach John Danowski in candid pose more suitable for Saturday Night Live than the NCAA Final Four. The brim off his hat turned to the side, Danowski performed an impromptu rap routine, goofing around before what was perhaps the biggest game of his 20-plus year career. That's not exactly "Win one for the Gipper," but it was effective all the same.
The top-seeded and second-ranked Duke men's lacrosse team will play third-seeded and fourth-ranked Johns Hopkins in the NCAA championship game on Monday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Face-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised live on ESPN.
Scoring sensation Zack Greer rifled home the game-winning goal with just three seconds left in the game to provide the winning margin in Duke's 12-11 thrilling victory over Cornell in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Cornell erased a seven-goal deficit and tied the game at 11-11 with just 17 seconds remaining on Brian Clayton's unassisted goal. On the ensuring face-off, Terrence Molinari scooped up the ground ball and found Peter Lamade near midfield. Lamade then drove to the goal and fed Greer, who deposited his fourth goal of the day into the net to push the Blue Devils back into the championship game for a rematch of the 2005 title tilt with Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays advanced to Monday's final with an 8-3 triumph over Delaware.
The happiest time for Duke's lacrosse players is game day. That's when they can simply concentrate on scoring more goals than the opposition. When they're on the field, they can put aside the sting from a 2006 season that was canceled for reasons ultimately never justified. Playing lacrosse has proved wonderful therapy. Winning has filled the emptiness the Blue Devils experienced last Memorial Day weekend, when two other teams vied for a national championship they figured would be theirs.
John Danowski knew he was inheriting a Duke lacrosse team loaded with talent and long on motivation. But it was also an angry team - bitter from the false allegations of rape that took three teammates away and a stole a season. It was a team that remained fiercely loyal to its previous coach, a man the players felt unfairly lost his job as a result of the since-discredited allegations.