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Details emerge on Andrew Giuliani's suit against Duke

An apple almost killed Snow White, Adam ran into trouble when he ate one, and Andrew Giuliani says one reason cited by a Duke University coach for removing him from the school's golf team was that he tossed the forbidden fruit at a teammate.

As Giuliani, 22, waited in the clubhouse of Great Neck's Fresh Meadow Country Club to play golf yesterday, the apple incident was among details emerging from a lawsuit the varsity golfer filed Wednesday against Duke to win back his spot on the team.

The federal lawsuit, filed in Durham, N.C., says Duke men's golf coach O.D. Vincent cited several odd incidents as reasons why Giuliani's eligibility for the schools' athletics program was canceled in February.

The lawsuit asserts Vincent said Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, tossed an apple at a teammate, hitting the side of his face, and that in a football game with golf teammates he "played harder than some of the other boys wanted to play."

Included in the lawsuit is an e-mail to Giuliani from five teammates saying they no longer wanted him on the team.

"After careful consideration we have come to the unanimous decision that we wish that your involvement with the Duke Golf Team is terminated," the e-mail says.

"Teams and athletic programs at the university have very clear processes and procedures for membership on the teams, who's eligible, when somebody might be removed from a team," said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president for public affairs and government relations.

Schoenfeld said he did not know of any other similar lawsuits filed against Duke and that students do not determine team eligibility. David Henahan, a spokesman for the State University of New York, said he was unaware of similar situations at SUNY. The National Collegiate Athletic Association did not return calls.

Giuliani waited with his mother, radio personality Donna Hanover, to play in the Stoddard Trophy Matches at Fresh Meadow as rain pelted the greens.

"I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else," Giuliani said.

Giuliani said he looks forward to his last year at Duke, adding, "My plans are still to become a professional golfer."

When the rain persisted, Giuliani left to practice on the Randalls Island driving range. "He's a great competitor. He's got a great heart," Hanover said.

Jeff Edelman, 20, a psychology and marketing management major who played on the team with Giuliani, said yesterday he left the team voluntarily to focus on his studies.

He would not comment on the lawsuit.

"I thought the guys were great and the new coach was great," said Edelman, of Southlake, Texas. "All I can say, I was not approached by the coach to leave."

The lawsuit asserts Coach O.D. Vincent said during a football game with golf teammates, Giuliani "played harder than some of the other boys wanted to play."

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