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A recent alum, Jill Hopman, says she saw members of the team chugging shots of liquor and shouting "Duke lacrosse" at Charlie's, a popular student hangout, on Saturday, March 25, a full day after the allegations crept into the news. The Duke administration had already decided to forfeit that day's game against Georgetown as punishment for the underage drinking at the party. "I was thinking, You're representing more than yourself," Hopman says. "It was just giving Duke a bad name." She wrote an Op-Ed in the student newspaper, the Chronicle, describing the incident. She has been told she's no longer welcome in the bar.
The alleged racial slurs have pitted Durham, a town that is 44% black, against Duke, where only 11% of the undergraduate students are black. A woman called 911 the night of the party and said a man called her a racial epithet as she passed by the house where the alleged rape took place.
Defense lawyers questioned the 911 call, noting that the woman at one point said she was driving by the house, then later that she was walking by it. They also challenged the scope of the DNA sweep, since the team captains told prosecutors that not every player was at the party. Even outraged students and alums like Hopman are urging people not to prematurely judge the players. "We are all Blue Devils in the end," she says. Good teamwork can still bring Duke together. Even when it's tearing it apart.