The New York Times reported Thursday that quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 did not withdraw his Rhodes Scholarship candidacy in November so he could play at the 2011 Yale-Harvard Game. Instead, the Times reported, the Rhodes Trust had suspended Witt’s candidacy days before Witt’s announcement, after it learned that a fellow student had accused Witt of sexual assault.
An unnamed female student filed an informal complaint with the University Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct in September alleging that she had been sexually assaulted by Witt in her dorm room, according to the Times. The female student has not gone to the police or filed a “formal complaint” with the University, the article stated.
After learning of the accusations, the Trust informed Witt and Yale administrators that he would be ineligible for the scholarship unless the University decided to re-endorse his candidacy. It remains unclear whether University administrators responded to the Trust’s requests about re-endorsement. While Yale College Dean Mary Miller submits a report to accompany all Rhodes applications and University President Richard Levin must sign them; the article did not say whether they knew of the harassment complaint at the time of his nomination. University Spokesman Tom Conroy also told the Times that Miller is informed whenever a complaint is filed.
Witt, a history major with a 3.91 GPA, transferred to Yale from the University of Nebraska in 2009. Though he was expected to graduate last fall, the Times reported that he is not currently enrolled at the University and he did not graduate. He is still listed on the Yale College Online Facebook directory.