It was 4:30 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 that 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 200 games. For the next 30 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 best-selling 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 75 key figures intimately involved in the case. The result is a tale that defies logic.
©2007 Don Yaeger and Mike Pressler; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"Pressler, the tale's sacrificial lamb, avoids a bitter or accusatory stance. Instead he adds color and insight to Yaeger's rigorous, efficient investigation; for anyone who got caught up in the story, this is a must-read." (Publishers Weekly)
"Even if you didn't follow the case, you will like the book because the danger of a rogue prosecutor is exposed." (Brian Kilmeade, Fox News)
First, this was a powerful, well-written book, and there is so much going on inside this horrifying story that it more than fills every minute of running time with fascinating details you want to learn more about. The narration is professional and ideally suited to the material, so much so that the narrator practically disappears behind the well-presented story line. So purely as entertaining, compelling reading (listening), it gets very high marks. But it is also an IMPORTANT story, one that needs to be told and understood by anyone who cares about the way our criminal justice system works (or, occasionally, DOESN'T work). Perhaps the heroes appear a bit too heroic and the villains are a bit too villianous, and it almost feels like a carefully plotted Grisham thriller at times . . . but you can't help concluding that it probably seems that way because these people really WERE that heroic and/or despicable and this impossible situation really did happen. Are there other sides to this story that could be told as well? Possibly. And if they ever are, I can only hope they are told as powerfully and fairly and compellingly as Yeager and Pressler told this story. As a result, I highly recommend this book, both because it is an important story that needs to be heard, but also because the authors and narrator make that medicine go down in a surprisingly enjoyable, compellingly readable way.
What a story. This must be what the Civil Rights Movement refers to as persecution of skin. This book is as riveting as any fiction I have ever listened to. These people were greatly and needlessly wronged. Nifong and the Accuser should be jailed. The State of North Carolina, Duke University, the Gang of 88 rabid Leftists, and many in the Media should pay millions in damage and millions more in punitive justice. This book should be required reading for anyone sending a child off to college.
I found this book so interesting. I knew when this whole thing went down in 2006 that those boys were innocent, so it was very interesting to me to see how it all shook down. I am outraged at the injustice and the atrocities they had to withstand. It hurts to think this kind of thing happens in the USA.
I like the narrator a lot, but he tends to have a Damon Runyon-like accent. It sometimes seems affected, and can make him a little hard to take seriously. But it was only a minor distraction to me.
Shame on you Duke faculty and administration. Aren't Duke students innocent until proven guilty too?
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