Harris, Melanie. “Sports, Sex, Scandal”, Boston College, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/2002.
The purpose of this essay is to dissect the Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal. This crisis of rushed judgments began as a questionable allegation that escalated into a scandal involving rape, privilege, class, and race. A historical overview of the Duke Rape Scandal is given which segues into an examination of the crisis communication strategies of both Duke University and the Duke Lacrosse players through the use of Fink’s stage analysis and Benoit’s image restoration theory. Additionally, through the use of Fisher’s narrative paradigm, the thesis examines numerous press articles and compares the media differences in portrayals, terminology, and imagery of the players both during and after the scandal. The media narratives helped to mold the opinions of the public. The conclusion argues that in a crisis that combined the issues of race, sex, and class, the Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal was an influential American event that has become a symbol of wrongful prosecution and a jump to false conclusions.