Ex-Player Montague Sues Yale, Seeks Reinstatement

It’s not often that an ex-player sues Yale University, but former basketball captain Jack Montague has done just that.

According to KTVZ, Montague has filed suit against the university for using a “deeply flawed process” to expel Montague for alleged sexual misconduct. The plaintiff has sued Yale University for breach of contract and defamation.

The lawsuit goes on to assert that Montague was expelled not because of his own actions, but due to pressure being put on the university to be tougher on male athletes accused of sexual misdeeds.

“Unfortunately for Montague, he was a prime candidate to serve as Yale’s poster boy for tough enforcement of its Sexual Misconduct Policies: popular, well-liked and respected amongst his peers at Yale, and known throughout the country as one of Yale’s most promising men’s basketball stars,” the lawsuit said. “In short, imposing harsh discipline on Montague would surely make an impact.”

In light of the expulsion and pending lawsuit, Montague has hired a public relations firm in an attempt to improve his image.

“Mr. Montague — captain of Yale’s basketball team and one of the most prominent male students on campus — was Yale’s ticket to restoring its tarnished image,” claimed the public relations firm representing Montague.

NBC News has reported that Montague is not seeking specific damages, but has requested reinstatement as part of the suit filed against the school on June 9.

Montague’s lawsuit states that he indeed had a relationship with the woman he is accused of sexually assaulting, and that the pair had consensual sex on multiple occasions, including the night of the alleged assault. The plaintiff claims that at no time did he force himself on the woman in question.

Interestingly, the complaint against Montague was not initiated by the alleged victim, but by Yale University. The plaintiff contends that this incident was pursued by the school due to pressure from government organizations, because Yale had been seen in the past as “soft” when it came to taking action against their own student-athletes for alleged misconduct.

The New York Times states that Yale may have come under scrutiny in this regard due to a recent study that was done to examine sexual assault on college campuses.

“Last year, a study by the Association of American Universities found that nearly one-in-four undergraduate women at a large group of leading universities said they had been sexually assaulted — and pegged Yale’s rates as higher than the average found at the 27 colleges.”

Montague feels that he was singled out because he was considered a prominent athlete on campus, and that making an example of him would alleviate pressure on the school.

The Yale Bulldogs basketball team received a great deal of national attention this past year. They qualified for the NCAA Basketball Tournament on the heels of a 22-6 regular season and a 13-1 Ivy League conference record. Yale upset Baylor in the first round of the tournament, only to lose a closely-contested game in the second round against basketball powerhouse Duke University.

Jack Montague was a very visible part of the team’s success, averaging 9.7 points per game on 40 percent three-point field goal shooting.

According to court documents, Yale head coach James Jones attended the disciplinary hearing in which Montague was found guilty of sexual misconduct. Jones has made public statements in support of his former guard and team captain, expressing his opinion that Jack Montague is “a great young man.”

The fallout from this situation has been intense on both sides. Montague’s former teammates, as well as a large portion of the student body, have shown Montague ardent support in his continuing battle against the school. However, those who feel strongly about victims’ rights have vilified Montague’s supporters, and applauded the expulsion handed down by the university.

[Photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP Images]

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