Faculty have academic freedom to speak in their area of authority in the classroom. They do not have the right to publicly slander or defame the reputations of innocent people, especially students with whose care you are entrusted. These faculty wouldn’t last a minute in a trial.
This case is not about academic freedom. Does being on the faculty prohibit free speech? Perhaps one should ask why so few Duke faculty spoke out in defense of the players until the facts were known. Outside of the non testimonial order, I don’t see the plaintiffs here getting much out of this lawsuit particularly issues related to the 88 faculty members.
No one has the right to defame or slander another person but it is the result of that defamation that must be proven here. Can you tell me how any of the players other than the three accused were hurt or suffered loss of some kind other than whatever fees paid to lawyers.