Duke University President Richard Brodhead apologized for not better supporting the lacrosse players falsely accused last year in a highly publicized scandal over an alleged rape.
Brodhead, speaking at a forum at the university's law school, said he regretted Duke's "failure to reach out" in a "time of extraordinary peril" after a woman accused three players of raping her at a March 2006 party thrown by the team.
"Given the complexities of this case, getting the communication right would never have been easy," Brodhead said. "But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they were most in need of support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize for it."
Brodhead received a standing ovation after his speech.