The daughter of a Duke alumnus has filed a lawsuit against her sister, her brother-in-law, and Duke University for her inherited right to sit among these fine young men and women at Cameron Indoor Stadium all season long. Katina Dorton is seeking damages for the "fraudulent transfer" of two season tickets that had belonged to her late father. Duke, it seems, is only a family institution when the family is not interfering with the institution's basketball team:
John Dorton, a Duke graduate and dentist who treated athletes and coaches over the years, bought tickets through longtime contributions to the Iron Dukes — the fundraising arm of the school's athletic department. He was "ill and unable to act for himself" when the transfer occurred in July 2008, according to the complaint, and died in January 2010 at age 81.
The Iron Dukes allow members to pass on tickets to family members willing to meet financial obligations, according to the complaint. In this case, that meant a $50,000 transfer donation and a $6,000 annual contribution. The lawsuit seeks to void the Caudles' arrangement while allowing Katina Dorton to assume the transferred ticket rights.
The complaint alleges that Gordon Caudle — son of former Duke football player Lloyd Caudle — had no authority to arrange the transfer because he wasn't yet married to Sophia Caudle when he signed the agreement. It also states that Duke never inquired whether there were other family members with a possible claim to the tickets.
The best part of this public family feud, aside from the fact that, yes, the patriarch Dookie in question was actually a dentist, is that Sophia Caudle "notified the family of the transfer in an email" just before her marriage. I would love to know how she chose to phrase that news: "Sorry, y'all, but we're taking the tickets because dad liked me best. Catch your girl on SportsCenter!" She may have been more tactful.
Katina alleges that when her father agreed to the transfer at some point before September 2008, he was "suffering from diminished capacity" and, accordingly, cannot be held accountable for the deal. We'll never know what father Dorton really wanted out of all this — he passed away in January 2010 — and frankly, we do not care. But we would like to think that all he wished for was to have two dedicated, blue-bodied Duke fans in his seats, chanting "Start the tractor!" late in a game against N.C. State. If his daughters can't find common ground in pursuit of that honorable mission, then maybe they're just not true Crazies.