Duke Univ. Settles With Three Ex-Players

Three students receive settlement for false rape charges.

June 18, 2007 — -- Duke University has announced a legal settlement with the three exonerated Duke lacrosse players once accused of rape and sexual assault. No dollar amount was specified.

In a written statement released today, the university administration said it had determined that "it is in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward."

"For these reasons, and after considerable deliberation, the trustees have agreed to a settlement with each student."

Duke University President Richard Brodhead and school officials have been widely criticized for failing to stand by the lacrosse players in the early days of the case.

After the rape charges first surfaced in the spring of 2006, Duke canceled the men's lacrosse season and forced the resignation of coach Mike Pressler. Dozens of Duke faculty members known as the "Group of 88" signed a statement criticizing the lacrosse team.

Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were suspended from Duke after their indictments. David Evans graduated from Duke just before he was indicted.

"This has been an extraordinary year for Duke students David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann," Duke added in today's statement.

"We welcomed their exoneration and deeply regret the difficult year they and their families have had to endure. They conducted themselves with great dignity during their long ordeal."

A fourth lacrosse player, Kyle Dowd, sued Duke University in January for alleged grade discrimination by professor Kim Curtis. Dowd claimed that Curtis failed him without reason in her politics and literature class. The university revised Dowd's grade upward and settled his lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

When asked about the suit soon after it was filed, Curtis replied, "I have nothing to say."

Seligmann will be attending Brown University as a junior next fall. Finnerty has yet to announce where he'll start his junior year; his family told ABC News he did not rule out a return to Duke, but would not go back as long as Mike Nifong was the Durham County district attorney. Nifong was disbarred Saturday and announced his resignation as district attorney Friday. He faces the possibility of civil lawsuits from the families of the wrongly accused players.