Yale Basketball Captain Says He Was Wrongfully Expelled


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Jack Montague, who was expelled from Yale last month, made a pass around Southern Methodist’s Markus Kennedy earlier in the season.

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Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Jack Montague, the captain of Yale’s basketball team, who was expelled last month in connection with a sexual misconduct case, said in a statement through his lawyer on Monday that the university’s ruling was “wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary and excessive by any rational measure.”

The expulsion of Montague, 22, and the mystery surrounding the details of his case have partly overshadowed a historic season for the Bulldogs basketball team, the Ivy League champion, which advanced to the N.C.A.A. tournament this year after a 54-year wait. It will play Baylor in a first-round game on Thursday afternoon in Providence, R.I.

The team has been at odds with many students on campus over its continued support for Montague. There has been no public explanation of how the case was handled from anyone associated with Yale’s athletics department or its administration.

According to the statement, released by Montague’s lawyer, Max Stern, through a public-relations firm, an independent investigator found that Montague and a female student had consensual sex in an earlier encounter. “The sole dispute is as to the sexual intercourse in the fourth episode,” the statement said. “She stated that she did not consent to it. He said that she did.”

A panel of Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct believed her side, the statement said, “by a preponderance of the evidence,” a finding then upheld by a dean and confirmed by the provost.

A Yale spokesman continued to decline to comment on this specific case, citing the federal confidentiality laws. In a statement Monday morning, the spokesman, Tom Conroy, did say that “where cases involve judgments about the witnesses’ credibility, all of the available corroborating or contradictory information is carefully weighed to determine who is telling the truth.”

He also said that the accused is permitted legal representation throughout the process, and that just one in 10 cases culminates in expulsion, while one in five results in no adverse finding and two of five result in a reprimand or probation.

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In an Ivy League postseason conference call with reporters Monday morning, James Jones, Yale’s coach, deflected questions about Montague. “I understand that this is a story for some people, but Yale has not been in the tournament” in a very long time, he said, adding, “We’re trying to focus on trying to play basketball games, and that’s our major concern and the only thing on our mind.”

The female student has not spoken publicly.

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Montague left the team last month in what at the time was described by both sides as a leave of absence. The Yale team wore shirts with his nickname, Gucci, on them before a prominent game, with a player subsequently explaining that the action was meant to show support for the team’s “brother.”

That prompted an outcry on Yale’s campus, with posters and chalkboards adorned with accusations that Yale’s team was supporting rape culture.

The statement through Montague’s lawyer said that the charge against Montague was filed by a Title IX official after the student reported the incident to a Title IX coordinator a year after the incident.

According to that statement, an independent investigator found that on the night in question, the female student “reached out to him” after they had parted, returned to his room, and spent the night.

“We believe that it defies logic and common sense that a woman would seek to reconnect and get back into bed with a man who she says forced her to have unwanted sex just hours earlier,” the statement said.

Some Yale students said the case was especially provocative because of a lack of transparency. The mechanism Yale has put in place to handle sexual misconduct complaints emphasizes confidentiality to make students feel comfortable coming forward. If the students choose, the matter can also be settled without the involvement of law enforcement.

Outside investigators are assigned to each case, and the cases are heard by members of the Yale professional community. The dean of a student’s college makes the final decision. The findings remain confidential and are protected by the privacy law.

Correction: March 14, 2016

An earlier version of this article paraphrased incorrectly a statement by Tom Conroy, a spokesman for Yale. He said that in cases like the one involving Jack Montague, one in five results in no adverse finding and two of five result in a reprimand or probation, not that the majority result in neither an adverse finding nor a reprimand or probation.



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