Ken Yanagisawa

Jack Montague, former captain of the Yale men’s basketball team, was expelled from the University for sexual misconduct, the News confirmed on Wednesday.

Montague’s status in the University was changed to withdrawn on his academic record on Feb. 10. Two weeks later, Yale sports publicity announced in a press release that Montague would not return to the team. Last Thursday, Montague’s father told the New Haven Register that his son had been expelled from the University for “ridiculous” reasons.

A formal complaint was filed against Montague with the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct in November of 2015, several months after an incident of alleged misconduct occurred. The decision to expel him was made on Feb. 10, 2016, and a week later the University provost chose not to grant Montague’s appeal of the decision, according to sources familiar with the facts of the case. It remains unclear if the November formal complaint was the only complaint brought before the UWC.

The student who filed the November complaint declined to comment for this story. Montague also declined to comment.

When a member of the Yale community files a formal complaint of sexual misconduct, the UWC appoints an impartial fact-finder to interview relevant parties and compile a report of the events in question. After the report is completed and presented to the UWC secretary, the UWC chair — currently ecology and evolutionary biology professor David Post — selects a five-member panel from the larger 30-member UWC body to conduct a hearing. At the hearing, both the complainant and the respondent are permitted to make a 10-minute statement and are then interviewed by the panel. Additional witnesses may come before the panel at the panel’s discretion.

After the hearing, the panel votes via secret ballot on whether the respondent has violated University policy; if a majority of panel members believe such a violation has occurred, the panel recommends a penalty. That recommendation is then presented to the relevant decision maker — Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway, if the respondent is an undergraduate — who has the option to accept, reject or modify the panel’s conclusion or recommended sanctions. Both the complainant and respondent may appeal the final decision.

Although the UWC’s procedures are all available online, their actual implementation remains largely opaque, as all formal proceedings are kept entirely confidential.

Blake Thomson ’16, a childhood friend of Montague who said he knows the facts of the complaint and subsequent case, wrote in a statement to the News that he believes the UWC’s policies have multiple “flaws and controversies.”

“Those that were close to the situation are frustrated with our school, because we witnessed how the UWC policies go against established law and strip an accused student of due process and any form of proper defense one might receive in a real court,” Thomson said.

He added that the UWC, as well as existing Title IX policy, is “failing both complainants and respondents, females and males.”

The University has refrained from commenting on Montague and his status, as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits educational institutions from sharing a student’s private educational records without the student’s prior written consent. Since disciplinary actions are included in educational records, University administrators have said they are not permitted to disclose any information.

Holloway declined to confirm Montague’s expulsion for reasons of sexual misconduct Wednesday night and would not comment further.

New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman said there is currently no complaint filed against Montague in his department. Montague’s name also does not appear in any criminal or civil investigations, Hartman said. Yale Police Department Lieutenant Von Narcisse said the YPD is not involved in a criminal investigation into Montague either.

Despite the lack of information coming from the University regarding Montague’s departure from Yale, his father has publicly acknowledged the expulsion and said a statement from the family is forthcoming.

“We have strict orders from our lawyers,” Jim Montague told the New Haven Register last week. “Soon enough, I’d love to tell the other side of the story. It’s ridiculous, why he’s expelled. It’s probably going to set some sort of precedent. We’re trying to do things the gentleman’s way, so we’re keeping things close-knit. But you guys will get a story.”

Despite earning the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962, the Yale men’s basketball team has recently come under fire from the student body for its public displays of support for Montague, which began at a Feb. 26 game against Harvard. That night, the team took the court wearing customized warm-up T-shirts emblazoned with Montague’s nickname and jersey number on the back. The front bore the word “Yale,” spelled backwards and inverted.

The shirts have since caused controversy, with multiple waves of anonymous posters appearing on campus featuring photos of the team wearing the T-shirts. The posters called on the players to “Stop supporting a rapist.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the team released its first statement regarding the T-shirts. The statement, sent by Associate Director of Yale Sports Publicity Tim Bennett, contained an apology for any hurt the team’s public support had caused.

The team reaffirmed its commitment to a “healthy, safe and respectful campus climate” for all students.

“Our recent actions to show our support for one of our former teammates were not intended to suggest otherwise, but we understand that to many students they did,” the statement read. “As student representatives of Yale, we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud.”

The team added that its members look forward to “learning and growing” from the incidents of the past weeks.

The statement came just two hours after United Against Sexual Assault at Yale and the Yale Black Women’s Coalition hosted a “chalk-in” on Cross Campus to show support for Yale’s survivors of sexual violence. The Yale Women’s Center helped sponsor the event.

USAY Co-director Helen Price ’18 told the News on Tuesday that the chalk-in was organized in response to current controversies surrounding the basketball team. But she emphasized that the event was meant to broaden the conversation, moving away from the specific incident with the team to a larger discussion about Yale’s overall sexual climate.

Following the basketball team’s statement, USAY released its own response, which acknowledged the team’s apology as a “step in the right direction” but called on the team to take “active and consistent steps to promote the healthy, safe and respectful campus climate mentioned in their statement.”

Title IX was signed into law in 1972.

Correction, March 10: A previous version of this article stated that the UWC chose not to hear Montague’s appeal; in fact, when the respondent is a student, the provost decides whether to grant an appeal.

  • Algiers50

    ” the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits educational institutions from sharing a student’s private educational records …”

    Just as a side note: FERPA, as it is known, is a paper tiger. The penalty for a school violating that act is the suspension of federal funding. However, there has never been a school which has had its funding suspended; IOW, the act is never enforced.

    It has become, instead, a cloak behind which schools hide their actions.

    (As perhaps the worst example of the act never being enforced, in 2006 Duke University shared private student information about its lacrosse team with prosecutor Nifong, to help him select which students to indict for rape. Then, a couple of weeks later it colluded with Nifong to pretend it hadn’t provided the information, and lied to the courts while Nifong pretended to ask for a warrant to get the same information. That was to cover Duke’s behind.

    (No penalty was assessed of Duke for violating FERPA to assist a faux prosecution.)

  • Boott Spur

    So now it finally comes out. A question – how on earth did the News find out about the UWC complaint? Montague obviously didn’t leak it, so did the student involved? If so, isn’t that a violation of the non-disclosure agreement both sides have presumably signed? Did somebody on the committee leak it, and if so, shouldn’t that person be dismissed from their position for a lack of confidentiality? I look forward to hearing more details once Montague starts talking.

  • theantiyale

    Is not due process due? A jury of one’s peers? Beyond a reasonable doubt? Has a court ruled that university and college campuses operate outside the protections of the Constitution?
    Paul Keane
    M. Div. ’80

    • groenima

      From the FIRE website:
      “Unlike public universities, private universities, because they are not part of the government, are not legally required to offer students constitutional due process. However, private universities are frequently bound by contract law to follow their own established disciplinary processes. If a private university says that it will offer a certain safeguard, it is obliged to do so, more or less in the manner that any private party entering into a contract with another party would be obliged to fulfill that agreement. Breach of contract is both a moral and a legal wrong.”
      https://www.thefire.org/fire-guides/fires-guide-to-due-process-and-campus-justice/fires-guide-to-due-process-and-fair-procedure-on-campus-full-text/

    • breakingbad23

      Is Yale a government all of a sudden?

      • Boott Spur

        Yale runs this city, so yeah, sort of.

    • Algiers50

      6th Amendment:

      “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

      Of course, that’s from an old document that has largely been discarded as unnecessary in modern times…

      • raxerx

        That document was written by Privileged White Men who oppressed women and raped slaves. By quoting that you *must* therefore support oppression and rape.

        • Solane

          Nice logic, snowflake.

          Oops, sorry. Didn’t realiE at first that you were being sarcastic.

    • Peter

      Beyond is reasonable doubt is the standard for a criminal prosecution, when a person’s life or liberty is at stake. For most civil cases, it is a “more likely than not: standard. Even in civil cases, though, each side gets the chance to hear the charges against them and question to witnesses. This kangaroo court seems to allow for none of that: each side makes a statement, the accused cannot present other witnesses or evidence without the “court’s” approval, and only the five “judges” can, if they want to, examine witnesses.

    • taquino

      The Office of Civil Rights has required schools to adopt a standard of “preponderance of the evidence” or essentially “more likely than not” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt” or “clear and convincing evidence”. In this arena, Yale and other schools operate with a lot of external constraints – as well as from a perspective of trying to be fair and to do the right thing for the community as well as for individuals. It’s not easy.

    • branford73

      Here are the basics of due process for taking away property rights, adapted from Justia. It doesn’t include a jury of peers or beyond a reasonable doubt unless incarceration is at issue. Also, since Yale is a private institution, constitutional due process requirements likely do not apply to it, except for the university’s lip service to be fairs do hopefully a commitment to due process practices at least as good as the University of Connecticut.

      (1) Notice, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections The notice must be sufficient to enable the recipient to determine what is being proposed and what he must do to prevent the deprivation of his interest.

      (2) Hearing. Some form of hearing with an opportunity of the accused to be heard is required before an individual is finally deprived of a property or liberty interest to protect his use and possession of property from arbitrary encroachment.

      (3) Impartial Tribunal. An impartial decision maker is an essential right in civil proceedings as well as criminal.

      (4) Confrontation and Cross-Examination. In almost every setting where important decisions turn on questions of fact, due process requires an opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. Where the evidence consists of the testimony of individuals whose memory might be faulty or who, in fact, might be perjurers or persons motivated by malice, vindictiveness, intolerance, prejudice, or jealously, the individual’s right to show that it is untrue depends on the rights of confrontation and cross-examination.

      (5) Discovery. The evidence used to prove the case must be disclosed to the individual so that he has an opportunity to show that it is untrue.

      (6) Decision on the Record. The decisionmaker’s conclusion must rest solely on the legal rules and evidence adduced at the hearing… To demonstrate compliance with this elementary requirement, the decisionmaker should state the reasons for his determination and indicate the evidence he relied on.

      (7) Counsel. This is less clear when incarceration is not an issue. And a right to a lawyer may not be necessary but some representation should be allowed.

      Despite my statements above about a right to appeal, due process does not appear to include that right.

      On the standard of proof, my own view is that where the conduct alleged would be a crime the standard should be at least clear and convincing, even if deprivation of liberty is not an available sanction. If Yale has agreed to use preponderance of evidence I doubt that courts could require it to use a higher standard of proof.

  • marcedward

    You KNOW the best way to get justice is through an anonymous kangaroo court without legal representation and a jury that doesn’t even require a unanimous verdict.
    So if a criminal act happened, why not police? Don’t we pay a lot of money for a legal system? If no criminal act happened, why charge somebody at all?
    Why no appeal of a decision?
    What did Due Process ever do to deserve being raped by Yale?

    • mickeymat

      This entire procedure is mandated by the Obama administration’s changes in Title lX interpretation. It is being followed by all universities and colleges and is making a mockery of justice and is instead assuming a guilty until proven innocent standard.

  • don colacho

    Am I the only one that thinks that the YDN has done more than anyone else to turn this into a scandalous controversy? Why is it that YDN staff writers and editors seem eager to publicize and scrutinize every UWC case they can get their hands on? Doesn’t this violate the UWC’s policy of confidentiality? HOW DO THESE W.R. HEARST WANNABES KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH THIS?

  • Rod Carveth

    As an alum of the school, I am really troubled about this rush to judgment. An accused’s rights before a university wide committee are far less than those afforded in a legal proceeding. The UWC are not trained in jurisprudence. They are not expert in the law. Basically, they go with their “best judgment.” In addition, the standard is a preponderance of evidence, which, often in a sexual misconduct case is a “he said, she said.” And, in reality, if it is a tie, in this day and age, the tie goes to the plaintiff.
    Even more troubling calling Montague a rapist and the basketball team being part of the rape culture at Yale. That’s just irresponsible. First, the accuser did not go to the police and Yale did not refer the case to the police. Now, not all rape victims want to go through that process, but it also means that legally Montague has never been charged with rape. Second, the team was supporting their friend and teammate. Perhaps some — or all — believe that he is not guilty of the crime. Do they not have free speech rights?
    I will be interested to see how this case develops. I hope that this is not another UVa case.

  • TC ’94

    It says “chose not to *grant* Montague’s appeal” — that’s different from choosing not to hear it.

  • TB

    Yale should send criminal matters to the police. Or does Yale have a better legal system than the United States?

  • Gregale

    The “Yale men’s basketball team has recently come under fire from the student body for its public displays of support for Montague” is an obvious overstatement. Many students are deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and due process that is apparent with these Title IX Star Chambers. At a minimum, many are withholding condemnation of an individual based solely on the secret conclusions of an amateur court.

  • NameCantBeBlank

    Ladies,

    If you get your gay guy friends to befriend the athlete, drug him (for some reason straight men don’t think they can be drugged – aren’t they precious?), and then rip HIS back out, he won’t go to police either. And he’ll stop messing with women. And maybe he’ll drop out of school on his own. Or so I’ve heard.

    Straight men have no respect for women. Never have. Never will. Straight men don’t think the word NO applies to them. The only way to deal with straight men is through violence. And trust me, when they do get their backs ripped out, they start thinking long and hard about acting like a doucehbag dudebros. (And they squeal like pigs. How droll.) And if you get lucky, they commit suicide in their parent’s vacation homes. Or so I’ve heard.

    Stop thinking straight men are your allies. And stop trusting them. And maybe stop trying to be one of the boys. And maybe, just maybe, start retaliating against these morons.

    • Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface

      generalizing a whole class of people based on the actions of some is bad enough, but celebrating violence and suicide is absolutely repugnant and shameful. you should seek help.

    • Kerryman

      Whomever wrote this vile, heartless diatribe sucks. “And if you get lucky, they commit suicide in their parent’s vacation homes.” Keep it classy. Good luck with that career in public relations.

    • artie999

      If you believe even a small portion of what you’ve posted, you are indeed a deranged, embittered threat to everyone. Again, if someone believes that they are a crime victim, then GO TO THE POLICE!. Sex crimes detectives and the DA will handle it justly and fairly. Any other action is itself criminal and actionable in civil court. The Constitutional violations here boggle the mind. And you need therapy to purge yourself of the hate that is destroying your life.

  • Rod Carveth

    How exactly did the moderator come to the decision to let the message by NameCantBeBlank be posted. Ripping men’s backs out? Being lucky if they commit suicide? The only way to deal with straight men is through violence?

    Major lack of judgment here.

    • Gregale

      I disagree. It’s important that people see the hatred that drives campus “political correctness.”

  • Frank411

    When will the Yale Women’s Center “take active and consistent steps to promote a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate,” rather than leading smear campaigns, leaking confidential information in violation of federal law, promoting guilt-by-association, opposing fair and impartial processes so results can be trusted, and opposing free speech?

  • Salty Dog

    There just isn’t any good solution to the core problem here, which is that the University must choose between either allowing some of those who are guilty of sexual assault to go unpunished for lack of evidence or to punish some of those who are innocent even when they cannot be proven guilty. No system of justice in the world can come to the correct decision in every case. And it’s made even more difficult by virtue of the nature of these cases. Setting aside those in which there’s some incontrovertible piece of evidence – a video of the assault, an eyewitness to the assault, a positive test for a date rape drug, etc – you’re dealing with virtually nothing other than two opposing narratives. Forensic evidence is by and large useless. The result of any vigorous consensual sexual encounter is effectively indistinguishable from a nonconsensual encounter from a forensic perspective. The University’s disallowed any evidence that doesn’t pertain directly to the facts of the case – understandable given the fear that victims might be portrayed as “asking for it” or that the accused will be supported as “a guy who would never do that sort of thing”, but nonetheless worrisome given the already extremely minimal amount of evidence. And while the incidence of false reporting is very low, it’s not zero.

    That’s the question both sides must answer. If indeed the University is willing to expel a student based on an accusation of sexual misconduct sustained entirely on the word of an accuser, we know that the inevitable result will be some innocent students being wrongly expelled (whether on Yale’s campus or elsewhere at a university operating with similar processes). If not, the inevitable result will be students who have committed sexual assault, misconduct, rape, etc going unpunished. It’s all well and good to talk about a healthy, safe, and respectful environment, but that doesn’t change the fundamental calculus: choose between punishing a few innocent people to ensure the vast majority of offenders are held accountable or allow some offenders to escape punishment to ensure the innocent aren’t punished.

    And it’s, sadly, the question the University hasn’t (and likely will never) answered. You have one side that would like to punish the guilty and another side that would like to protect the innocent. These are viewpoints that reconcile perfectly with one another. Of course everyone wants the guilty to be punished and the innocent to go free. Until Yale gives a frank answer as to exactly how it’s making its decisions – and not the boilerplate process document, but an honest answer to the question of whether an accusation alone is considered to be grounds to conclude a student violated campus policy – we simply have no way to know whether it’s decided that it’s more important to punish the guilty and accept that a few innocents will be punished or that it’s more important to avoid punishing the innocent and allow many offenders to escape punishment.

    • Sam Stone

      This is a police matter.

      The accuser must be named and she must press charges. If she is unwilling to do so then F her. F Yale and F the progressive left.

  • icetrey

    Schools need to stop all of this kangaroo court crap. It’s very simple, get arrested for a felony get suspended, get convicted of a felony get expelled, done. If the accuser is unwilling to go to the police that’s on them.

  • Havid Damburger

    I wonder if this kid and his family will keep voting for Democrats

  • Jawaralal_Schwartz

    When u enroll at Yale, do you give up your rights to have your attacker prosecuted by the civil law enforcement agencies and be tried in a city or county or state court. Why let Yalu Da Hsueh conduct its own investigation and trial. I don’t get it. Whoops, there is no trial activity.

  • Jon

    Law enforcement should compel the school to disclose all information if there was a crime committed. They don’t let law enforcement do their job because there is no crime. This is just more of the SJW feministas taking out people with innuendo and lies. We have to start prosecuting the false claims, like those in Virginia and North Carolina. There is no rape culture. It is another big lie from the fascist left.

  • OldProf

    Rape is a felony in all states, comparable to stabbing someone with a knife. Would a college attempt to adjudicate a stabbing case? While college tribunals are probably adequate for academic infractions and misdemeanors (cheating, doing drugs, underage drinking, etc.), they are not up to the task of prosecuting major crimes. A college does not have the investigative resources of a Prosecuting Attorney’s office, nor does it have adequate protections for the rights of the accused. A guilty verdict from a college tribunal can have a major effect on a defendant’s life. This kind of decision should be made by a real court, not a group of professors without the proper legal training.

  • Sam Stone

    When the accused sues Yale then the accuser will have to face the light of day and come out of the hole she is hiding in. The accused can name her and he should.

  • disqus_5T2jXBEN10

    They say stop supporting a rapist, but no criminal charges have been filed, something sounds PC to me.

  • disqus_5T2jXBEN10

    Me thinks if this kids name was Bush this wouldnt see the light of day

  • Rale

    It seems that there are only two possibilities considered most of the time: a consent violation (i.e. a rape or a sexual assault) or consensual sex. However, consent or the lack of it MUST BE COMMUNICATED. WHEN miscommunication occurs that creates the possibility exists for a consent “accident” – where one person genuinely believes that consent has been given, but the other genuinely believes they have not consented. Communicating consent is pretty clear, but even those supporting an affirmative consent standard agree that it must include body language (which in this case would include getting into bed and voluntarily removing one’s own clothing…)

    SO … if/when consent is withdrawn AFTER consent has been communicated verbally or thru body language … who has the burden of communicating withdrawal of consent effectively? Is it up to both partners to keep checking in (i.e. “are you still good with this?”, “are you sure?” …) OR is it the burden of the partner changing their consent status to effectively communicate that change?