Updated: June 28
A teammate of former men’s basketball captain Jack Montague has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the expelled player’s legal fees.
Nick Victor ’16 started alongside Montague for the first 20 games of the season before Montague was expelled in February for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policies. On June 9, Montague filed a lawsuit against the University and claimed that his treatment had been “wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure.”
Victor wrote that Montague was “wrongfully accused” and “doesn’t deserve this treatment.”
“Just months from graduation and weeks before our basketball team clinched an Ivy League title, Jack Montague was forced to leave school and abandon his team in light of a university sexual assault investigation that presented no evidence that proved his guilt. Not only was Jack stripped of a Yale degree which he had worked over three and half years to earn, he was also denied the once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament alongside his teammates,” Victor wrote on Fundly, a crowdfunding website where he launched the campaign this week. “He is now in a time of need, so I have created this fund to allow his supporters to provide help.”
He acknowledged the importance of Title IX regulations, which form the basis of University procedures for investigating sexual misconduct, but wrote that “rules that deny the accused of a just trial are indication of regression, inequality, and injustice.”
The Fundly also included an excerpt of a statement Montague’s lawyer made in March when announcing his intent to file a lawsuit, a letter published that same month by Montague’s high school basketball coach Dennis King in support of the player and the lawsuit itself.
Victor did not return a request for comment Thursday. As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, the campaign had raised $655 toward its $75,000 goal. The fundraiser will close on Dec. 29, 2016, according to the website.
The basketball team drew criticism earlier this year for demonstrating support for Montague after rumors of his expulsion began to circulate. In a Feb. 26 home contest against Harvard, 16 days after Montague was expelled, the team took to the court wearing T-shirts with the former captain’s nickname and number on the back. The following week, posters appeared around campus condemning the team for “supporting a rapist.”
Neither Montague’s lawyers nor the public relations firm working with them could be reached for comment.