The lawyer for Yale basketball team captain Jack Montague now says the player may sue the school over his expulsion for the alleged sexual assault a female student. The dismissal was “excessive” and Montague was made a “whipping boy” for the assumed “rape culture” that supposedly haunts higher education in America, the lawyer said.
“We strongly believe that the decision to expel Jack Montague was wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary and excessive by any rational measure,” Montague’s lawyer Max Stern said. “Yale has been oblivious to the catastrophic and irreparable damage resulting from these allegations and determinations. The expulsion not only deprives Jack of the degree which he was only three months short of earning, but has simultaneously destroyed both his educational and basketball careers.”
The lawyer notes that Montague’s accuser returned to his room to spend the night subsequent to the alleged sexual assault in question.
On March 10 the Yale Daily News reported that the school expelled team captain Jack Montague for sexual misconduct stemming from an allegation of sexual assault brought against him by another student in November. The paper reported that the school’s provost refused to hear any appeal of the decision, that the school requires the disciplinary matter to stay secret, and that neither Yale nor New Haven police pursue charges against the alleged attacker.
Montague has been missing from the court since February 6 and in several games since the players have gone out of their way to show support for their now former captain. In one case the players wore track suits with word “Gucci” on them (Montague’s nickname) and even sported the school’s name spelled backwards. Players have also taken to flashing a four-fingered salute in support of Montague.
These examples of support have themselves drawn criticism from Yale students. Posters recently appeared on school walls reading, “Yale Men’s Basketball, Stop Supporting Rapists,” but players later admitted to ripping the posters down.
But since the player’s expulsion, he and his lawyers say they feel the player’s legal rights have been denied him. He has not had the opportunity to defend himself and he’s been tossed out of school without even having any actual legal action filed against him.
“From what appears, Jack has been pilloried as a ‘whipping boy’ for a campus problem that has galvanized national attention,” Stern added. “There is no doubt that institutions of higher learning must take the problem of sexual abuse seriously and take effective steps to protect their women students. But that obligation cannot justify imposing so drastic a punishment on the basis of such flimsy evidence.”
The school insists its process for investigating sexual misconduct is “thorough and fair” and sees no reason to revisit its decision.
The school’s process was changed after a federal complaint was filed against it in 2012.
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