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Former Duke coach Pressler sues school for libel, slander

1/24/2008

DURHAM, N.C. -- The former Duke lacrosse coach who lost his
job after a stripper claimed three players raped her at a party in
2006 sued the school and its top spokesman Wednesday, claiming
slander and libel.

The case was later debunked, and the prosecutor who pursued the
charges was disbarred last year.

Mike Pressler's lawsuit said Duke's senior vice president of
public affairs and government relations, John Burness, made
slanderous and defamatory comments about him to the media.

Pamela Bernard, Duke vice president and general counsel, said
Wednesday that the lawsuit has no merit and "is yet another
attempt to reopen a sealed matter."

Last week, attorneys for Pressler withdrew their request for a
judge to rescind a settlement agreement between Pressler and Duke
so they could pursue this lawsuit. At that time, lawyers
representing Duke said they would fight the allegations.

They also argued that any case by Pressler against his former
employer should go through arbitration first.

Pressler now coaches the men's lacrosse team at Bryant
University in Rhode Island. He also has written a book about the
lacrosse case.