Durham, North Carolina – In response to the absence of serious administrative malfeasance of any kind, as well as a considerable dearth of legal woes including charges of sexual assault, Duke University president Richard Brodhead announced yesterday that the football team’s season would be cancelled.
“Though we stand firmly on the side of our student athletes, the lack of criminal accusations against our football program cannot be ignored. This matter will continue to not be pursued in the courts of law. Duke University, its administration and its athletic program make no assumptions concerning the innocence or guilt of our football players in a hypothetical case, but we have deemed it necessary that their season be cancelled for the sake of unity and healing. This is a unique opportunity for us to seriously broadcast our wants, our needs and our beliefs, and today all three coincide: Duke football must not occur,” Brodhead said.
Over the past several months Duke football has been rocked by an increasing void of scandal, with media coverage seemingly nihil-present at the picturesque Durham campus. Brodhead said that some students have voiced concern about not being constantly confronted by reporters looking for an angle or a slip of the tongue.
“In light of what has not occurred, my associates and I believe that not going through with football season would be beneficial to all but most especially for the student body itself. We are an academic institution first and foremost, and we make this decision with that firmly in mind. It is imperative that the distraction of football be immediately and decisively removed for any kind of resolution,” Brodhead said.
Though some have criticized the Duke president for informing the media before the team itself and its coaches, Brodhead’s move has been lauded from many corners – including the Blue Devils’ head coach himself.
“It takes courage to do what he did in the face of absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever. Decisive action like this is what we need, as a football program, to move forward to a point where we can make a non-negative impact on this campus and its students. I support Richard Brodhead and Duke in their decision, and I only wish they had made it earlier,” Duke head football coach Not Steve Spurrier said.
“Frankly, this is a big relief. I can finally take the time to work on my frisbee golf game. I’m kind of tired of having the score run up on me.”
Duke head coach Not Steve Spurrier contemplates whether he should punt or go for the intentional interception.
Though North Carolina has traditionally been a basketball state, the recent lack of success in football by home teams University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and especially Duke has brought attention to that “other sport”. Word travels fast, and local fans and boosters have been staying away in droves as cumulative North Carolina season ticket sales for football did not increase for the third year in a row.
“This is a tradition poor program, and we have never, ever derived any pleasure or pride from it. For example, as recently as the 2005 season Duke football failed to bring home a national championship, a conference championship or even a congeniality award. Most agree that our streak of non-appearances in the championship game – or any game of import, for that matter – over the last half century or so is one of the most remarkable athletic feats of all time. No one doubts our place in history, but with multiple football players not getting arrested and charged with egregious acts of villainy we have no choice in this non-matter,” Brodhead said.
“Let those who’ve failed to criticize our football program for its maverick tendency towards criminality be warned: this university is prepared to stay the course even if it means the cancellation of all future seasons. Actually, especially if it means the cancellation of all future seasons,” Brodhead added.
Yesterday’s press conference comes on the heels of a string of highly unpublicized non-incidents:
August 18, 2005: Senior defensive end Eli Nichols is not arrested by police on charges of public intoxication and public indecency.
January 1, 2005: Junior quarterback Steve Lattanzio is not arrested by police on suspicion of breaking and entering.
March 3, 2005: Sophomore linebackers Charles Robinson and Alfred Williams both fail to be charged with minors in possession of alcohol, biking while under the influence, public disturbance and possession of marijuana.
September 2, 2005: Junior tailback Tielor Robinson is not forced to put up a bail of $200,000 after a complete lack of sexual assault charges. Robinson and his non-existent accuser eventually do not settle out of court.
February 4, 2006: Senior offensive lineman Garrett Mason does not steal several male sheep from Duke’s agricultural center; he is consequently not fined $800 and ordered to perform community service in addition to the lack of a DUI charge.
March 16, 2006: Sophomore quarterback Marcus Jones is not accused of providing alcohol to minors, and is completely unaware of the charge of statutory rape the state fails to bring against him.
March 28, 2006: Junior linebacker Zach Smith does not steal a woman’s cell phone in a bar, and avoids being chased by two policemen through Durham. Exactly one week later Smith does not expose himself to a group at a women’s dormitory.
May 3, 2006: Senior tailback Aaron Fryer is not engulfed in a brewing scandal involving improper benefits to his family in the form of a $162,000 house in the Durham area. The NCAA later fails to announce that an investigation will be forthcoming, with possible non-sanctions pending on the findings.
June 4, 2006: embattled Duke head coach Not Steve Spurrier is not charged with DUI. His lawyer does not claim that his drink was laced with GHB, a well known date rape drug.
“It’s been a trying couple of decades for our program. When you can’t even hang your hat on being infamous for something maybe that’s just God’s way of sayin, ‘It’s time to pack it in fellas,'” Not Spurrier said.
“Outside of an occasional blip of relevancy, we’ve shouldered on in anonymity year after year. Not winning games is one thing, but when you’re not winning games and operating in legal obscurity and outside of the police blotter there’s something wrong. My gut’s been telling me that for a while now. The last thing this university needs is an unremarkable, unsuccessful football program in the harsh glare where the media spotlight would be if there was anything interesting going on here. I can’t say I’m sad to see our team go, but I can say I’m unbelievably, ecstatically happy.”
Not Spurrier was firm in his reiteration that calmness and rationale were required in this situation, however.
“I’m not going to let my indescribable joy concerning this turn of events blind my view of things. I know full well that a complete lack of sexual assault accusations is no laughing matter. Then again, neither is a crappy football team,” Not Spurrier said.
As of press time it is unclear if Duke will convert the football team’s revoked 85 athletic scholarships into enough money for a new Mike Krzyzewski commercial.