It's Not About the Truth by P-SimonSchuster


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									It's Not About the Truth
Author: Don Yaeger
Other: Mike Pressler
Table of Contents

Contents Author's Note 1. The Perfect Storm2. Don't Worry, This Will Blow Over3. Duke and Durham4.
Lacrosse at Duke5. The Strippers6. The Cops7. 1-1 and Done8. Blue Wall of Silence9. Who Is Mike
Nifong?10. Press Hound11. The President12. Perfect Offenders, Perfect Victim13. Agendas All
Around14. The Media15. "It's Not About the Truth Anymore"16. No Match17. Politics of Race18. All In19.
Crumbling Case20. Summer Camp21. General Election22. "No Penetration"23. "You Can't Make Me"24.
Cruelest of Ironies25. Duke Lacrosse 200726. Exonerated27. Moving On A Timeline of EventsThe Cast of

Mike Pressler walked into the bottomfloor meeting room of the Murray Building and, as he had done
hundreds of times over a sixteen-year career at Duke University, prepared to address his men's lacrosse
team. Forty-six players sat in theater-style chairs, all eyes riveted forward.It was 4:35 P.M. on
Wednesday, April 5, 2006. The program's darkest hour had arrived in an unexpected and explosive
announcement.Pressler, a three-time ACC Coach of the Year, informed his team that its season was
canceled and he had "resigned," effective immediately. While his words reverberated off the walls,
hysteria erupted. Players cried, confused over a course of events that had spun wildly out of control.
What began as an off-campus team party with two hired strippers had accelerated into a rape
investigation -- one that exposed prosecutorial misconduct, shoddy police work, an administration's rush
to judgment, and the media's disregard for the facts -- dividing both a prestigious university and the city of
Durham.Wiping away tears, Pressler demonstrated the steely resolve that helped him win more than two
hundred games. For the next thirty minutes, Pressler put his personal situation aside and encouraged his
players to stick together. He also made a bold promise: "One day, we will get a chance to tell the world
the truth. One day."This is that day.Pressler, who has not done an interview since the saga began, has
handed his private diary from those three weeks to New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger,
exposing vivid details, including the day Pressler was fired, when the coach asked Athletic Director Joe
Alleva why the school "wasn't willing to wait for the truth" to come out. "It's not about the truth anymore,"
Alleva said to the coach in a signature moment that said it all. In addition to Pressler, Yaeger interviewed
more than seventy-five key figures intimately involved in the case. The result is a tale that defies logic."It
is tough to be one of fifty people who believed a story when fifty million people believed something else,"
Pressler said. "This wasn't about the truth to many of the others involved. My story is all about the truth."

CHAPTER ONETHE PERFECT STORMIt was a postcard-perfect Monday afternoon in North Carolina on
March 13, 2006. A brilliant sun was accompanied by temperatures in the midseventies. The campus of
Duke University was peaceful and relatively empty with the arrival of spring break. Dukies, with the
exception of athletic teams in season such as mens lacrosse, welcomed the reprieve. The city of
Durham, meanwhile, embraced a new work week. Durhamites savored the crisp, clean air as they
scurried around town and tackled their to-do lists. Little did they know the perfect storm had started to
churn on the horizon.The Perfect Storm?Yes, thats exactly what would occur. Not a drop of rain would fall
in Durham over the next twelve hours, but an extraordinary combination of events would devastate a
prestigious university and a proud city, changing many lives forever. Not rain, not snow, not wind would
cause this massive destruction.The elements that produced this perfect storm were in a powder keg, just
waiting to be ignited. That powder keg, located in the living room at 610 North Buchanan Boulevard, was
packed with the politics of privilege, race, sex, and money. As the alcohol flowed, and music filled the air,
the fuse was lit.There was an explosion around midnight.Duke University, ranked as the thirteenth Best
University in the World in 2006 by the New York Times Higher Education Supplement, is extraordinarily
picturesque. Grand Gothic buildings covered in warm, gold-toned brick stand high above the magnolia and
dogwood trees that fill the campus. An aura of privilege and excellence surround the thousands of eager,
bright students who pay an annual tuition in excess of forty-four thousand dollars and rush to keep pace
with their demanding academic and social schedules. However, the university's beautiful exterior couldn't
conceal the turmoil beneath.People love to hate Duke. Though no one can pinpoint exactly why, everyone
has a theory. John Burness, Dukes senior vice president for public affairs and government relations,
believes it stems from the school's reputation. Once the darling underdog, Duke is now viewed as a
powerful elitist. Its attitude, intellect, and wealth set an exclusive standard, similar to the success
exhibited by professional baseball's New York Yankees. Most of the Ivy League despise the thought that
Duke is trying to be something it's not: one of them. In the Ivies' minds, Duke is a poser, striving to
emulate an image Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Stanford, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and the University of
Pennsylvania spent centuries developing."I really believe that if this had occurred almost anywhere else in
the country, it wouldn't have been this big," Burness said. "It would have been big, but nowhere as big as
Duke. We are on a pedestal. I think the factor that put this one over the top, with all the other elements --
and God, it had all the other elements -- was that this was Duke."Those "other elements":Outside the
"Duke Bubble," as many students call it, you enter Durham, a vibrant and growing city that can also be
especially dangerous in places. It was the murder capital of North Carolina in 2005, boasting thirty-seven
murders, the highest murder rate per capita. Though not all of Durham adheres to the poor, blue-collar
family image the media portrays, nevertheless, its crime rate and poverty levels are alarming. The
contrast between the surrounding community and the young, elite, predominately white Dukie is startling
Author Bio
Don Yaeger
Don Yaeger is a former associate editor for Sports Illustrated. He is the author of seven books and
coauthor of the New York Timesbestseller Under the Tarnished Dome and the critically acclaimed Pros
and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL.<br/>

Mike Pressler
Mike Pressler was the head coach of the Duke Lacrosse team. Under his leadership the team won three
Atlantic Coast Conference championships,ten NCAA tournament berths, and made an appearance in the
2005 Division I men's lacrosse championship game. He now coaches the lacrosse team at Bryant
College in Rhode Island.<br/>

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