With the revelations in the Ekstrand amended complaint we were wondering what should President Brodhead have done when the accusations first broke, back in March 2006?
Joan Foster had this
What should Richard Brodhead have done? I would have advised him to do something he supposedly does so well….read Shakespeare.
In his office, away from the din and distraction of the early days of the Frame, he might have looked for warning signs in these classic stories of great leaders toppled by their individual tragic flaws. He might have culled a cautionary word for himself in those tales of once “great men”…. trapped by their baser, lesser natures to become, at stories end, only pathetic anti-heroes in memorable tragedies.
Reading Othello again, he might have turned a wary eye to the Iagos around him; reading MacBeth, he might have been reminded that treachery fueled by ambition often rebounds right back at you. Better yet, reading Julius Caesar, he might have ruminated over the masterful scene where Mark Antony faces the mob at Caesar’s funeral. Perhaps, inspired, Mr. Brodhead might have considered using his own (supposed) oratory skills to not…. “Cry havoc” but quell it, and move Durham’s mob to some measure of justice and reason.
As he barricaded himself in his office, without the moral sufficiency or spine to face the distraught families of the Lacrosse players, he might have remembered the words of the Merchant of Venice, imploring us to see beyond “labels” and limits and even, yes, legalistic excuses… and embrace our shared humanity. Instead behind the scenes, it is alleged, he aided and abetted a corrupt prosecutor and put three young lives at risk. He did this because THREE YOUNG LIVES in Brodhead’s shallow system of priorities could not trump the necessary P.C. and P.R. posturing that was “Best for Duke.” Behind the scenes, it is also alleged, he aided and abetted the Chairman’s wish that those three Innocents face trial. Perhaps, Brodhead could never have been a moral Superman, a “Man of Steel” leading us through the Frame…but he might have been a bit more than Steele’s liege man, his lackey.
But Alas! Poor Brodhead. NOW we know him well.
Instead, we have watched for months, as the supposed leader of a great University simply “struts and frets his hour upon the stage.” Brodhead is still “strutting and fretting.” He should have read his Shakespeare again at the very start of this debacle, but now his moment has past. If there are any on the Board who still love Duke, they should push him stage left, toward the exit. “All his yesterdays have lighted (Duke) the way” to the dusty, death of its once vaulted principled reputation.
Brodhead’s leadership amounted “to a tale told by an idiot” signifying…nothing but disdain for common decency and a very public failure.
“Out, out, brief candle.”
Baldo chimes in
When Duke President Brodhead first learned of the allegations, what should he have done? Maybe a call to Durham's "On Time Taxi" asking Elmo for advice would have been wise.
Durham Cab Driver, Moezeldin "Elmo" Elmostafa, was arrested by Nifong's Officers after he backed up Reade Seligmann's alibi on national TV. They arrested him on what was clearly trumped up charges . As they handcuffed him, “They asked me if I had anything new to say about the lacrosse case. When I said no, they took me to the magistrate.” Later he would be found not quilty.
When Elmo was presented the Reader's Digest Hero of the Year award on the Today Show he was asked why didn't he remain quiet and just not come forward? Elmo explained he was scared, had come from the Sudan where you fear the authorities, and he could have been deported back there. His dream of citizenship would have been over and family would never come to the United States. Instead Elmo explained, "It would have been unfair to those three players."
Simple words, what should Brodhead have done? He could have been fair. He could have demanded his Duke PD complete a through and honest investigation since they had jurisdiction over all Duke properties. In fact the case was transferred to the Duke PD on the loading dock of DUMC the morning of March 14 and the SANE Kit was given to Duke PD.
But he didn't!
Instead Brodhead and Steel sacrificed the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Team to the political ambitions of Nifong, a Durham PD investigator with a known history of harassing Duke students, the campus mob led by Duke's Faculty, community activists out to promote a political agenda, and a national media firestorm.