Judge Rules Friday In Duke Lacrosse Case and Duke Names New Head Coach

Read the Judge's Ruling

A judge says Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong can subpoena the home addresses of those Duke University lacrosse players he plans to call as a witness.

However, the judge declined to allow Nifong access to records of
activity on their student identification cards. Those cards can be used to buy items and gain access to campus buildings.

Attorneys for those uncharged players argued the information is
protected by federal privacy laws and that Nifong's subpoenas seeking the information were flawed.

Nifong has said every member of the team is a potential witness in the case, and home addresses would ensure he could call the players to testify at trial, which is unlikely to begin before spring 2007. He wanted the information from the student key cards to confirm what the players told investigators about their whereabouts following the March 13th team party.

A woman hired to perform as a stripper at the party told police
that three team members raped her.

Durham, N.C. -- John Danowski, a national lacrosse coach of the year winner whose teams won eight conference championships at Hofstra University, will become the new head coach of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team, Director of Athletics Joe Alleva announced Friday.

Danowski will take over the program from Kevin Cassesse, who was named interim head coach following the resignation of former head coach Mike Pressler. Danowski’s appointment was unanimously recommended by an eight-member committee following a national search. Alleva made his decision Thursday after a meeting he and Danowski held with Duke President Richard H. Brodhead.

Entering his 25th season as a collegiate head coach, Danowski was honored in 1993 as the NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year. He spent the last 21 seasons at Hofstra, compiling a record of 192-123 (.609) with eight conference championships and NCAA Tournament bids. With an overall record of 219-139 (.612), he is among just eight active head coaches in NCAA Division I men's lacrosse to reach the 200-win plateau. His Hofstra teams produced 34 All-America selections. Under Danowski, student-athletes who completed their eligibility graduated at rate better than 90 percent.

“John Danowski is a great coach, on and off the field,” Alleva said. “He’s well known in the lacrosse community not only for his championships but also for his character and integrity, and for bringing out the best in his players. He knows Duke’s lacrosse program will be facing special scrutiny and is committed to working with the players and others to ensure the team is a source of pride for the entire Duke community.”

Brodhead said that after the committee had identified Danowski as its top candidate, “I had a long talk with him, and I too felt the force of his special qualities.

“Coach Danowski has compiled impressive winning records, but for him coaching is about far more than results on the field,” Brodhead said. “Himself a former teacher, he sees his role as developing the human potential of his players in its fullest sense: in academics, in athletics and in the domain of character. He’s a great choice for our program at this time. I look for him to continue everything that’s best in the Duke lacrosse tradition and to build the new strengths we're committed to achieving.”

As the father of a rising senior, Matt, on the Duke team, Danowski already knows many of the players and their families. “I know how difficult these past few months have been for everyone associated with the team, as well as for the university and the Durham community,” he said. “As we look to the future, we know that our performance will not be measured solely in terms of wins and losses. Yes, we will compete for championships, and I hope to win one next year. But I also will insist that our players act consistently in a manner that brings honor to themselves and the university.”

The 2006 season was Danowski’s most successful at Hofstra as the Pride matched an NCAA single-season record with 17 victories and two defeats. Hofstra won the Colonial Athletic Association championship, finished the regular season ranked number two in the national poll and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Prior to joining Hofstra, Danowski spent three seasons as the head coach at Long Island University-C.W. Post, compiling a 27-16 (.628) record from 1983 through 1985. He received his start in coaching in 1982 as an assistant coach at LIU-C.W. Post.

Named conference coach of the year four times, Danowski was inducted into the Long Island Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2001. He is a three-time winner of the Joseph "Frenchy" Julien Sportsmanship Award presented by the Metropolitan New York Officials Association and received the James Adams Sportsmanship Award from the National Intercollegiate Lacrosse Officials Association in 1994.

A 1976 graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental science and education, Danowski earned a master's degree in counseling and college student development from LIU-C.W. Post in 1978. He played lacrosse for four years at Rutgers and helped lead the team to two NCAA tournament appearances. He continues to hold several Rutgers records in the sport.

Danowski and his wife Patricia also have a daughter Kate who played lacrosse at Quinnipiac University before graduating in 2005.

Danowski’s appointment follows several months of scrutiny of Duke lacrosse. Duke’s team was ranked as high as number two in the nation this past spring before Brodhead suspended its season on March 28 following a Durham woman’s allegations that she was raped at an off-campus party attended by many team members. Three team members, who maintain their innocence, have been indicted and face a criminal trial; all other team members have been exonerated.

A faculty committee that subsequently studied the team’s record found the players to be “academically and athletically responsible students” who were too often “socially irresponsible,” especially when under the influence of alcohol.