A Page -- June 12, 2010

2010 Men's Lacrosse

Innocence triumphs over 

evil; Duke's lacrosse team 

experiences poetic justice 

with NCAA championship

Norm Weber


Student/Athlete-Cleveland.com Editor



With the school and college Student/Athletic Year coming to a close this week, poetic justice was finally done when  the Duke Men’s Lacrosse team ended the spring by winning the NCAA national championship with a 6-5 victory over Notre Dame.


The feminist tide that has all but destroyed men’s athletics on college campuses nationwide over the past 38 years because of Title IX’s attempts to “equalize” did nothing but “un-equalize” the college atmosphere like nothing else has in the 140 years of intercollegiate athletics. 


To refresh, the Duke men’s lacrosse team four years ago were demonized by the unfair and controlled mainstream press for an alleged incident that never happened, but they were left with the undeserved scars from it the past four years. A professional stripper had accused some of the Duke Student/Athletes on the lacrosse team of rape and sexual harassment, which turned out to be nothing but bald-faced lies.


Mike Nifong, the district attorney in Durham County, was up for re-election and as a result pushed for a rush to judgment perhaps not seen since Bay Village Doctor Sam Shepherd was wrongfully accused of murdering his wife Marylin here in 1954. F. Lee Bailey came to town for the retrial in the early 1960s and made some interesting observations of how the mainstream media dominates public thought, perhaps a discussion this corner will address at a later time.


Incidentally and ironically, there is a Bay Village connection between Duke men’s lacrosse. Former Bay High and Duke soccer standout Gretchen Zahnow married a gentleman who played and coached lacrosse at Duke. At Joe Knap’s retirement party three springs ago, this writer had mentioned to Zahnow that there was only one member of the media who smelled a rat from the moment the allegations of those innocent young men first hit the press.


That would have been Dr. Michael Savage, who repeatedly on his nightly show, The Savage Nation, stated that Nifong was pushing for a fast verdict and had the rest of the mainstream media riding his coattails to prove the young men guilty and thereby the stripper innocent of any wrongdoing.


Dr. Savage, who has over 8 million daily listeners on over 250 radio stations and holds two masters degrees besides his doctorate in epidemiology, dubbed her so aptly, “The Durham Dirtbag.” Of course we never got to know her real name until it was found that she concocted the whole story in her head, but by then it was too late. The young men’s names and their parents’ family names had already been dragged through the muck.

The very Discernible Dr. Savage 

At least the NCAA gave the young men some compensation for their losses by instilling a special fifth year of eligibility, allowing  them to play this season and win the title in a sport the school has dominated over the years.


Incidentally, the “Durham Dirtbag” did no time in jail and walked like OJ did after the farcical circuslike TV trial in 1994-95.


Nader Baydoun, an attorney himself and a Duke alumnus, published a book titled A Rush to Injustice, right as the news was released that the whole thing was a hoax. One interesting part of that book was how Esq. Baydoun described the support the men’s lacrosse team received from the Duke women’s lacrosse team during the whole ordeal.


The Blue Devil women wore patches with the jersey numbers of the accused players on their sleeves to their classes and around campus in show of support, knowing that the young men had been improperly discredited as “perverts,” which they were not but simply young college men having a good time together for one night.


Sadly, ESPN dropped the ball on the championship. While a well-written article appeared on the ESPN Web site (incidentally written by a woman) did note that the young men, particularly the super seniors, finally received their just reward, it failed to mention their total innocence, drawing more attention to the guilt trip associated with the “stigma” still attached to the school’s program than what the truth really is. She merely stated that the “rape charges were dropped and the men exonerated,” leaving out the fact that the whole thing was a hoax from the very beginning.


It was Duke’s first national title since the incident, but if this would be an impetus for men’s college athletics to be restored to its once proud status is highly doubted. Men’s advocate Phyllis Schlafly so aptly addressed the implausibility to this re-shifting in her column last Dec. 11.





Crushers flirt with extending 

winning streak to two, but get 

entangled in Spiderman’s 

web instead


June 12, 2010


Norm Weber  

Student/Athlete-Cleveland.com Editor



AVON – The Lake Erie Crushers came back from an early deficit to take the lead but wound up getting bit by black widow in the eighth inning, falling to Gateway, 6-3, in front of 3,402 fans tonight here on Marvel Comix Night in All Pro Freight Stadium.


After the Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Travis Vetters legged out a on-out triple in the bottom half of the inning after smacking a hard one to right field, but the bats remained silent the rest of the inning and the guests retained the lead.


Gateway knocked Lake Erie starting pitcher Esmelvin Jimenez out of the box in the fifth inning, making way for Jeff Cinadr, who holds a degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Toledo. Cinadr threw “rockets” the rest of the inning, shutting the door on the Grizzlies who then took the field after getting only the one run off the starter, making it 2-0.


Vetters, picked up the Crushers’ second hit of the game as well as his second personally in the bottom of the fifth. The University of Portland alumnus moved to second when Lee Huggins walked and to third when Wayne Bond flew out to center.  Again, though, he was left stranded at third.


The Crushers turned in a defensive gem in the sixth when speedster Dom Duggan fielded a double in deep center field, fired to cutoff man Drew Saylor, who relayed to fellow Kent State alum Andrew Davis to nail Jareck West to end the inning.


Davis followed his hand in the sterling defensive play in the bottom of the inning by creaming a double to right center that would have scored Jodam Rivera, but because of the bouncy turf here at The Freight, the ball bounded over the wall for a ground rule double, forcing Rivera, who had walked to halt at third base.


It didn’t matter though because the Crushers tied it, 2-2, before the inning was complete. Saylor walked to load the bases and then Tisdale, the Winthrop University grad, sliced the deficit to one with a sacrifice fly to center. Vetters spanked his third hit of the night to drive in the tying run.


Cinadr kept the discipline going working two hitters to 3-2 counts in the seventh inning before enticing one to hit to Davis who spun another defensive dazzle on a bare hand play and whiffing the second one, denying any Grizzlies to score in the inning and leaving a runner stranded at second.


University of West Florida alum Lee Huggins started the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored the go-head run on a Duggan ground ball. Duggan stole his 12th base of the season, but was left stranded, the hosts holding on to a 3-2 lead with two stanzas to go.


Ron Morales, a school teacher during the off season who earned his education degree at Wichita State, relieved Cinadr in the eighth. However, he ran into control problems in the inning and was replaced by closer Alberto Rolon.


On this night , Rolon did not have the Rollie Rolaids relief magic as the Grizzlies went “wild,” plating four runs, shifting the responsibility as pitcher of record form Cinadr to Morales.


The Crushers resigned reliever J.J. Pacella, a Kent State product who was instrumental in the 2009 pennant run and playoffs. Lake Erie wanted to sign him earlier but had no room for any post-rookies until this week after cutting Cardoza Tucker, an L-2 player.


Pacella came in to do mop-up work in the eighth after Rolon loaded the bases with a hit batsman. Pacella had what the other two guys did not have in the inning, whiffing the only potential hitter he faced, leaving the bases loaded in the inning.