2006: Mike Pressler coaching in NorCal

2006: Mike Pressler coaching in NorCal

Postby Billax » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:27 pm

Fantastic Lies

ESPN showed its latest 2 hour, 30 for 30, special on March 13th, 2016. It covered the infamous "Duke Lacrosse Case" that alleged several Duke Lacrosse players raped an exotic dancer after she performed at a campus residence serving as a home for a number of the Duke Lacrosse guys. The movie is available on ESPN (you can look up the URL). The movie covers one of the great frauds perpetrated by the lying Exotic dancer, the lying District Attorney, the lying forensic tester of DNA, and the lying Cop who made up evidence against the Duke Lacrosse guys. I'm not covering any new ground here, as all this came to light in late 2006. NO DNA from ANY Duke Lacrosse player was ever found on the Exotic Dancer.

The DA was disbarred for lying, the Exotic dancer is now serving a 14 year sentence for the subsequent murder of her fiancé, the cop-gone-bad committed suicide, and the "independent" DNA tester's career is in ruins. Mike Pressler, the Duke coach, was fired by Richard Brodhead, Duke's President. The Duke Lacrosse players? Forty-one guys, throughout their entire lives, will be looked upon with skepticism – by Personnel Directors who consider hiring them. It is the most egregious fraud in the history of our Sport and, likely, any NCAA sport.

The movie will give you all of that. This post is about what happened to Mike Pressler – in the Summer of 2006 – in NorCal.

Two of NorCal's pre-eminent lacrosse camp Directors had engaged Coach Pressler to attend their respective camps – as lead coach! That's how good Coach Pressler was, and how famous he was becoming for his fabulous Duke Lacrosse teams. Then... the feces hit the fan!

A little back story is needed to generate the rest of this post. Lacrosse was just starting to EXPLODE in NorCal. The NorCal Lax Forum was the only place one could find information on the sport! A small group of guys fed the insatiable appetite for Lax info... game reports, recruiting info, schedule changes, new teams starting up, youth lacrosse game scores, etc. Lacrosse Dads throughout NorCal were writing up game reports, listing goals/assists/points leaders for both teams. Hot Bed Regions throughout the country had fans asking how come those upstart NorCal guys have WAY better lacrosse reporting than we do here in... name your hotbed!

OK. Back to the Mike Pressler story. After things blew up in Durham and Coach Pressler was fired, both of the Camp coaches had VERY hard decisions to make! Audaciously, I wrote to both of those coaches ( i knew them both pretty well) and laid out my case that the honorable thing to do was to retain their arrangements with Coach Pressler. Both coaches replied similarly... saying that this was a business decision and that they had to protect their business. Honor doesn't count for much when your small business is threatened by an agreement to have some hotshot DI coach come out to teach your youngsters, when the parents know he's been fired because his players have been accused of rape

Both Camp owners wrote back to me, and both laid out the risk to their businesses if they had Coach Pressler show up! I was disappointed, but I said nothing to anyone about the decisions of these Camp Directors. Let me say this up front: unless you've been an entrepreneur, you have no idea how hard some decisions can be... and this was a hard decision. Shortly thereafter, Bryant University hired Coach Pressler! Did that change anything. It Did! One of the Camp Directors re-instated his invitation to Coach Pressler. I attended the Camp at which Mike Pressler coached. The Kids were bug-eyed with awe and leaned on every word Coach Pressler uttered. He was, I believe, the first NCAA DI Head Coach to spend a week in NorCal teaching kids as young as my then twelve-year-old! Additionally, this Camp Director had a dinner for Coach Pressler and invited a number of NorCal Lacrosse luminaries to attend. For reasons unknown to me, I, who had no lumens at all, was invited. Morever, I sat directly across the table from Coach Pressler. He's one helluva guy!

In sum, far, far away from the hotbeds, a guy risked his nascent business to engage a Coach whose team had been accused of gang rape. I nodded my head in pride that this was what the game of Lacrosse was all about. Later, when the facts vindicated the Duke Lacrosse players, it was an utterly triumphant feeling to have seen a guy risk all to do what he thought was right.

I don't want to leave the impression that the other Camp Director did the wrong thing. Everybody's got to make their own decisions... and on other occasions this other coach has been a stand up guy... when the world was entirely agin' him. My point is, I guess, that we in NorCal are incredibly lucky to have stand-up guys for Camp Directors. Guys who serve as role models for our Boys!
Last edited by Billax on Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sports don't build character, they reveal it. - Heywood Broun
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Re: 2006: Mike Pressler coaching in NorCal

Postby Fanforlife » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:15 pm

Pressler is definitely a stand-up guy.

Has probably done more for development of West Coast lax than any other D1 coach.

Still have a pic of he and Sid Jamison (Bucknell coach at the time) with their arms around my son at an All West event (Oglesby ... another super guy who has done sooooo much for West Coast lax development), when my son was only in 7th grade.

Fond memories of a class act.
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Re: 2006: Mike Pressler coaching in NorCal

Postby numbersman » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:58 pm

My #3 son had the opportunity to play for Mike Pressler at Bryant. We was recruited by Mike at the old California Gold camp that Peter Worstell put on every year at Osage park in Danville, back in the day. My son was impressed by Mike's character, and I became impressed by that too, as I got to know him a little over the 4 years my son was at Bryant. He is a class act, a man's man and a true gentleman.

It was comforting to know that while my son was away from home and across the country, he was part of Mike's Rhode Island lacrosse family and was looked after.
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