A Duke University lacrosse player says in an exclusive interview with ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., that there was no rape at the party on March 13 when a woman says three members of the team sexually assaulted her.
In the first on-camera interview with a Duke lacrosse player since the story of the alleged rape broke, the player, who did not want his identity revealed, defended the coach and the team.
He told WTVD's Darla Miles that he feels university officials turned their backs on the team after the allegations were made public.
"From the get-go, we've only had each other to fall back on," he said. "We've been convicted in the media. Our university turned its back on us. ...They didn't stand up for us, and we feel neglected and that our loyalty wasn't reciprocated."
In the interview with WTVD-TV, he said the allegations have brought players closer together.
"We've stayed strong for this, and we still have each other. We'll be best friends for life," he said.
He told the station he believes the team was on its way to the national championship when the rape investigation began. As a result of the scandal, Coach Mike Pressler resigned -- but the player told WTVD he doesn't believe the coach left willingly.
"He didn't resign. He was forced out," the player said. "The notion that he quit or resigned is ridiculous."
The player said the ad-hoc committee's report that was released Monday detailing issues with the team's culture clearly vindicated the coach.
"As the report shows, there was a clearly a disconnect between student affairs and the athletic department and [Pressler] took the fall for a lot of things he didn't know about. All the incidents he knew about, he dealt with," the player said.