Updated Aug. 12, 7:22 p.m. The suspension of Will McHale’s ’13 football captaincy, announced Saturday, comes as McHale faces an infraction charge of creating a public disturbance for allegedly punching another male student at Toad’s Place on May 15.
A witness to the altercation said McHale threw a drink at a friend of Marc Beck ’12, and that when Beck stepped between the two and yelled at McHale, the football captain punched Beck in the face. McHale fled the scene following the incident, according to the witness.
McHale, who was arrested by Yale Police that night, appeared in court Aug. 10 and applied for Connecticut’s Accelerated Rehabilitation program. Following the application, his case was continued until Aug. 9, 2013.
The Accelerated Rehabilitation program gives individuals with first-time criminal or motor vehicle violations the opportunity to dismiss those charges following the successful completion of a probation sentence lasting no more than two years, according to the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch.
McHale and his attorney Michael Luzzi ’85 declined to comment immediately following the court appearance.
The trouble at Toad’s began when McHale spilled part of his drink on Beck’s friend while dancing, the witness said. After Beck’s friend attempted to take McHale’s drink away, McHale threw the remainder of the drink at the friend.
Beck, a former sports editor for the News, was left with a laceration that required 14 stitches. McHale could not be reached for comment Aug. 6, and his attorney, Michael Luzzi ’85, declined to comment on the case.
A Saturday press release by Yale Athletics announced that McHale requested the suspension.
“Will made a poor decision and his actions are unacceptable to Yale and our football program,” Head Coach Tony Reno said in the Yale Athletics statement. “He remains an important part of our team, and I fully expect him to work to restore his credibility in the Yale community while remaining a leader on and off the field.”
In the release, McHale said he hopes to put the matter behind him and “regain the trust and confidence that comes with being a member of the Yale football team.”
Football player Javi Sosa ’13 said the team was informed of the news by Reno and McHale in a Sunday email. Reno could not be reached for comment Monday, and Athletics Director Tom Beckett declined to comment beyond the press release.
“We try to speak about overcoming adversity, and this is just another step,” Sosa said. “I know Will will do his part.”
Sosa said he does not know how a new captain will be chosen. Another player told the News Monday that he does not think the team will select anyone to replace McHale, who was elected as the 135th captain on Nov. 17 in a unanimous vote by his teammates.
McHale, a linebacker, has 133 career tackles and was second-team all-Ivy in 2011. He comes from a football family — both his father and grandfather played linebacker for the University of Notre Dame.
James Lu contributed reporting.