Duke Lacrosse Scandal: What Really Happened?

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April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg Contributing Editor Bill Cohan discusses his new book “The Price of Silence,” which chronicles the scandal surrounding the Duke Lacrosse team on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

I am a duke alum, and a very loyal duke alum.

The easiest thing would to have stay in my lane.

Everybody expects that from me.

I found this so captivating and so caught up as best i could be in the media scrum at the time.

First they condemned them and then exonerated them.

I said, i want to know what happened.

There was never a trial in this case.

Were you thinking book?

I want to do something a little different than wall street and i want to get into my michael lewis stays.

This is "flash boys" for me.

This is huge to the wall street community.

The duke lacrosse network has a beeline to wall street.

It is part of the compact.

That is part of the promise that is made to these kids.

You come to duke, you pay lacrosse, we will get the network working for you to get to wall street.

What did you learn?

Let me step back.

Let me remind viewers that there was never a trial in this case.

Roy cooper, the attorney general said these boys were injured -- innocent in april 2007. eight years later, i wanted to dispassionately compile everything i could, find out about this case, talk to everybody that would talk to me and put it in the book area and -- put it in the book.

This is the trial that the boys never had.

If it would sell like "flash boys" -- there are african-american young men in the bronx who are wrongly accused of doing things, they do not end up getting 20 million bucks.

They do not end up with writers like you telling their story.

I am a duke alum.

I was interested in the story.

The fact that there was never a trial, the difference between what happens to somebody in the bronx is there is a trial.

They are found guilty or not.

Roy cooper said these kids were innocent.

No one declared anybody innocent , as even part of the trial.

It is not in the legal dictionary to declare someone innocent.

He did it on his own.

That was very interesting.

Number two, i asked him for an interview.

You declared that these interview -- these kids innocent, he would not interview with me.

I asked to see his files, he would not make them available.

What is he hiding?

I don't know.

That is one of the reasons i wanted to write this.

One of the boys talk to me, not the three indicted.

The price of silence is keep tournament -- keep quiet money.

One wanted to talk to me, he is clerking for a federal judge, but his lawyers decided that would not be prudent, based on the terms they were proposing for which i would talk to him.

What did you learn?

They were not read this.

Are they sleaze bags?

We will never know what happened in that bathroom.

There is no trial, we will never know.

This is the closest i can get to a trial.

I talked to crystal mangum, the /accuser -- the victim/accuser.

I talked to bob steele, the former deputy mayor of new york who was chairman of the board of trustees.

Between nifong, crystal, and bob steele, the consensus is that something happened in the bathroom that no one would be proud of.

What did you learn?

There are so many reasons this exploded into a scandal in the first place.

We could talk about the treatment of athletes at elite universities.

We could talk about the over exuberance of prosecutors.

What do you think was chie fly responsible?

It was a perfect storm.

The incredible combustion.

We have to talk about the role that the media played in this.

The media latched onto this story like a dog with a bone.

This was the bridge gate of eight years ago.

This was the herbalife of eight years ago.

This had it all with everybody rushing to judge them.

For those that want to say these are innocent boys, can you help me understand how they got to that place?

Why is it normal on a tuesday night for 40 boys to get together and round up a couple of hookers and take off their clothes and a dance?

This is so far from normal and out of the extreme.

That is the issue.

It is normal.

You have an e-mail sent by one of the athletes after the party goes home, citing a book "american psycho," tomorrow, let's order up some more girls and let's skin them and kill them.

Why is that normal?

It is not.

It is shocking.

It is not right.

I would not want my kids to do it.

It is part of the culture of at least at duke -- they are put up on a pedestal.

The bad boy behavior was encouraged.

A lot of duke alums shook their heads and said they could believe it might happen.

We will not know if it happened.

Something happened that no one will be proud of.

You would think that after the incident that duke would be reflective and not have this happen again or things like this happen again.

What about this duke start?

This stuff keeps happening again.

They had an asian themed party.

There is the karen owen list, powerpoint presentation.

You said you were a loyal duke alum.

Are you a proud duke alum?

I am proud of the education i got.

I am proud of what duke does and stands for.

This is not a fine moment at duke.

That is why i wanted to write about it.

I wanted people to understand what happened and why.

Maybe we can change the culture.

One of the problems is -- by shedding light -- by shedding light, one of the problems is underage drinking.

There was underage drinking going on at this party.

That is not about to stop tomorrow, at duke or anywhere else.

Can we be honest about who we are laying blame to?

Before the next season starts, the coach is in usa today with this quote.

He says -- "the behavior, they are blaming it on summer jobs on wall street.

There are around 40 and 50-year-old men all summer.

During that time, they see it for those men, hiring strippers and dancers is acceptable behavior.

Why is it fair for him to assume that when these boys have summer internships they are around guys hitting strip clubs every night.

How does he know that?

Maybe the players told him.

Or maybe he heard about it.

That is probably not wrong.

That is behavior that goes on.

Those boys went back -- bob steele said to me this is legal behavior.

One of these boys has an internship at goldman sachs.

When he gets back to campus, let me order up a couple of pros and dance.

I would not blame the equity capital markets desk at lazar for it.

I think he probably regrets saying that, but i do not know.

He would not talk to me.

They were not throwing dwarfs.

This is regular behavior that does happen on wall street.

It is part of the culture, generally.

The idea that they thought it was a good idea to have this party and invite the strippers blows my mind.

And to send another e-mail and say let's do it again tomorrow.

Ryan mcfadden did talk to me.

I did tell his story in the book.

It changed his life.

It is a cautionary tale.

He thought it was a joke.

It was in bad taste.

He had a literary reference to a. this changed his life.

He has had to change his name, he cannot get the job he hoped to get as a root -- as a result of this.

He works for a housing development in connecticut.

Do you feel bad for him?

I feel a little bad that his whole life was changed as the result of sending an e-mail.

I feel bad for the girls to.

-- too.

Bill cohan, author of "the price of silence." this is a book you must buy, must read.


We have more "market makers" coming up.


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