Unidentified Yale alumni are helping cover the legal costs of Jack Montague, the former captain of Yale’s basketball team who was expelled in March 2016 for sexual misconduct, as he attempts to undo his expulsion through a lawsuit against the University.
In a March court deposition — which recently went public as part of a motion from University lawyers — Montague told attorneys that alumni had raised between $25,000 and $30,000 to help fund his lawsuit against Yale, which argues he was wrongfully expelled for allegedly sexually assaulting another student. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.
The identities and the number of the alumni who have contributed money to Montague remains unclear.
Karen Schwartzman, the spokeswoman for Montague and his lawyers, declined to comment.
Patrick Noonan, a lawyer who represents the University in the case, deferred comment to University spokesman Tom Conroy. Conroy declined to comment Sunday morning.
Following the expulsion, Montague filed a lawsuit in June 2016 that accused Yale of making an example of his case for the sake of “restoring [the University’s] tarnished image” on issues of campus sexual assault. The suit claims that his expulsion was a breach of contract and violation of his Title IX rights.
Yale filed a memorandum of opposition to Montague’s request. The University claimed that the victim, referred to as Jane Roe in court documents, clearly stated that she did not want to engage in intercourse with Montague.
Montague’s departure from the University came soon after the Bulldogs earned their first NCAA March Madness tournament bid in 54 years. Shortly after his expulsion, the basketball team came to Montague’s defense, sporting pregame warm-up T-shirts expressing support for the former captain. And in June 2016, one of his former teammates started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Montague’s legal fees. The crowdfunding page has raised more than $5,000 from 32 donors.
Montague is seeking unspecified monetary damages and permission to finish his last semester at Yale. The suit argues that Montague’s expulsion from Yale has undermined his ability to pursue academic and employment opportunities. He also claims that he cannot apply to other schools because the University has declined to release his transcripts unless he pays a $3,000 tuition debt.
“That represents the last semester that I didn’t finish,” Montague testified in court. “So, as soon as I was expelled, they sent me a bill for $3,000.”
The motion to make this deposition public came as part of an effort by Yale’s lawyers to discover how much money Montague’s parents have paid to a public relations firm representing their son.
“The amount of money which [Montague] has paid to his public relations firm and which has been raised for his legal fees is certainly relevant, as those funds could have been used to pay the outstanding bill at Yale University and obtain his transcript, thereby enabling him to apply to other colleges and universities in a timely manner,” wrote Yale attorney Patrick Noonan in a motion.
In the deposition, however, Montague pointed out that he needs more than the $3,000 in order to continue his education at another school in the case that Yale does not readmit him. Montague mentioned Vanderbilt University, which is near his home in Tennessee, as a possible transfer location.
“If I were to apply and get accepted into Vanderbilt, then I would also be looking at another year of school, at least another year of school, which would be way more than $3,000 and probably somewhere around $60,000 or $70,000,” he said in the deposition. “And that’s something that my parents cannot afford.”
The case is expected to go to trial in February 2018.
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This version of the article has been updated to reflect the print version that was published on Dec. 4, 2017.