Former Yale men’s basketball captain Jack Montague filed a lawsuit against the University on Thursday on the grounds that his February expulsion for violating University policy on sexual misconduct represented a breach of Yale’s contractual obligations as well as a violation of his Title IX rights.
The University, Deputy Title IX Coordinator Angela Gleason and Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator Jason Killheffer are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
“On information and belief, Yale targeted and ultimately expelled Mr. Montague in order to make a public example of a prominent male figure on campus and demonstrate that, contrary to the opinions of Yale’s internal and external critics, the University is indeed tough on men who ‘victimize’ female students,” the lawsuit argues.
In a statement, University spokesman Tom Conroy said “the lawsuit is factually inaccurate and legally baseless, and Yale will offer a vigorous defense.” He outlined Yale’s process for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct, and stated that the University’s procedures for addressing such complaints are “thorough and fair.”
Neither Gleason nor Killheffer immediately returned requests for comment. The University will have 30 days to file its response.
Additionally, the lawsuit contends that the University failed to give Montague proper advance notice of Roe’s claims, thus “disadvantag[ing] him at his interview with the fact-finder because he was asked to respond to those claims without knowing or being able to reflect upon any of the detailed allegations.”
The suit also states that the panel did not address the “UWC I” proceedings in Montague’s presence, making the UWC I proceedings an ex parte submission. The inclusion of UWC I proceedings — which, the lawsuit reiterates, were groundless because the incident in question did not involve an act of sexual misconduct — represent “a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”
Further alleging that the UWC panel made “credibility determinations,” the lawsuit claims the panel gave more weight to Roe’s account because, according to its report, Montague had a “selective memory” of the events. The lawsuit writes that Montague “admitted to having four to seven alcoholic drinks in the space of just a few hours” but quoted Montague as saying he was “not intoxicated.”
In his statement, Conroy said that in cases involving judgements about witnesses’ credibility, “all of the available corroborating or contradictory information is carefully weighed.” He added that only “about one out of 10 cases” end in expulsion, and that the decision to expel a student is made “only after the most careful consideration, based on the facts and, when appropriate, disciplinary history.”
The UWC was established in July of 2011.