Punishment too harsh on Duke program

The national media has launched an unfair assault on the Duke men’s lacrosse team. If you missed it, 3 members of the team have been accused of rape. Since then, the team’s season has been cancelled, the team’s coach has resigned, and several players have been suspended (including one for sending an offensive e-mail to his teammates). This is an absurd overreaction. Even if the accusations are true, only three team members have been charged. That means at least 90% of the team is innocent. Of course, since we live in the United States, it should be presumed that all the players are innocent — with all the media coverage, it will be interesting to find an impartial jury. In an even more disturbing turn of events, one player was suspended for an e-mail that he sent to his teammates. While what he wrote was certainly offensive, it was also a private correspondence. How many students from UVM would be suspended if the administration checked all of their weekend e-mails for “offensive” language? It’s a scary thought, eh? Obviously, the players that are guilty should be punished. However, it makes no sense to penalize the innocent players, coaches, and fans, and it sets a dangerous precedent for every college student in the country.