NEW HAVEN — The captain of the Yale University men’s basketball team was expelled from the Ivy League school after facing a university-led investigation into a sexual misconduct allegation, a source told CNN on Thursday.
CNN has learned from a source close to Jack Montague that, according to Montague, he had a consensual sexual relationship with another student in 2014. A year later, in fall 2015, Montague was summoned to appear before Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.
Montague was expelled months later. The university has not confirmed these details, citing confidentiality. Montague last played for the basketball team, which is going to the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than five decades, on February 6.
“Information pertaining to a student’s withdrawal from the university is maintained as part of the student’s confidential educational record,” a university statement said. “The university does not make distinctions in treating as confidential the different circumstances under which a student may be withdrawn from Yale. The governing principle is that all student educational matters, including disciplinary matters, are a private educational concern between the student and Yale; the university therefore does not disclose the details of a student’s status.”
Quoted in the New Haven Register last week, Montague’s father, Jim Montague, said his son has been expelled from the university.
“We have strict orders from our lawyers (not to comment),” Jim Montague told the Register. “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.”
The allegation against Montague sparked a recent protest on Yale’s campus calling for greater awareness and action on issues related to sexual assault.
An attorney for the family of Montague — who didn’t play the final eight games of the regular season — was not available for comment in response to an inquiry from CNN on Thursday.
Blake Thomson, a childhood friend of Montague’s who also attends Yale, told CNN on Thursday that Montague’s only goal right now is to clear his name.
Both the New Haven and Yale police departments have said there are no complaints or investigations into Montague.
Montague’s Yale teammates recently showed their support. In a February 26 game against archrival Harvard, the Bulldogs wore gray warmup jerseys with Yale spelled backward on the front and Montague’s number, 4, and his nickname, “Gucci,” on the back. The game was televised nationally.
The team’s action sparked negative reaction on campus. Posters were hung up around campus criticizing the gesture.
The team apologized Wednesday.
“Yale Men’s Basketball fully supports a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate where all students can flourish,” the team statement said. “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. We apologize for the hurt we have caused and we look forward to learning and growing from these recent incidents. As student representatives of Yale we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud.”
Nearly 450 Yale students participated in a chalk-in Wednesday to show their support for survivors of sexual assault. The event was co-sponsored by Unite Against Sexual Assault Yale and the Yale Black Women’s Coalition. Helen Price, the co-director of Unite Against Sexual Assault Yale, a student organization, says the event was organized in response to the basketball team’s show of support for Montague.
“There’s been a lot of anger and frustration on campus recently,” Price said.
One chalk-written message read: “Imagine if Yale men cared as much about ending rape culture as they cared about sports.”
2012 Title IX agreement
Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct was instituted in 2011 about the time the federal government investigated the university for alleged Title IX violations involving the way it handled reports of sexual misconduct.
Title IX bars gender discrimination in education.
The Department of Education interprets Title IX to say that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and therefore schools could be held responsible if they don’t investigate and adjudicate these cases.
The federal investigation was spawned by a 26-page complaint filed by 16 students after a video released online that showed fraternity recruits yelling chants encouraging rape as they marched through campus. The complaint also followed reports of a party in which undergraduate students were allegedly asked to strip naked.
The U.S. Department of Education found no incidents of noncompliance by Yale but acknowledged in an agreement with the university that Yale “largely under-reported” allegations of sexual harassment.
When the deal with the education department was announced, Yale said: “Over the past two years, the university has committed extensive resources toward improving its policies, procedures, practices and services to provide an environment in which all students feel safe and well supported, and protected from sexual misconduct.”
The committee draws members from students, faculty and administrators.
Postseason hopes for hoops team
Montague’s last game was February 6, a home contest against Cornell that Yale won easily, 83-52, led by Montague’s 16 points. For the season, he was averaging 9.7 points per game, the best in his four seasons with the team. He was the team’s fourth-leading scorer this season.
After a 71-55 win Saturday over Columbia that clinched Yale’s first NCAA tourney bid since 1962, senior Justin Sears revealed that some of the team FaceTimed with Montague before the game, according to USA Today.
“He’s our leader, our captain,” Sears said, via the USA Today story. “He’s still our captain. … It’s tough. There’s not much to say because it’s a controversial situation. We just have to wait and let everything play out and see. … He’s our brother, and we miss him.”
The men’s basketball team has clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 54 years by winning the regular-season Ivy League title.
Yale has never won a game in the men’s NCAA tournament.