The high-school coach of f
ormer Yale men’s basketball captain Jack Montague publicly expressed his support for his former player and lashed out against the university for conducting a purported “witch hunt.”
Montague was expelled from Yale in February in connection with an alleged sexual-misconduct accusation, sources have told Business Insider.
Dennis King, who who coached at Brentwood High School in Tennessee for 28 years, wrote a letter to the editor in brentwoodhomepage.com.
In the letter, he compared Montague’s situation to that of Giles Corey, the man accused of witchcraft during the late-1600s Salem witch trials.
“Expelled Yale basketball captain Jack Montague is a modern day Giles Corey,” he wrote. “He’s the victim of a Title IX witch-hunt, where his dreams, reputation and future employment are being ‘pressed’ out of him with the same cowardly, irrational piety shown by those Puritan zealots of an earlier New England,” he continued.
King, who coached Montague for all four years he attended Brentwood High, described him as tirelessly committed to self-improvement and those of his teammates. He also suggested that Montague’s name will eventually be cleared.
“I believe that due process will eventually clear Jack’s name, that he will be granted his hard-earned diploma, and that he will move on to share his considerable gifts with the world,” King wrote. “But I’m not sure how he will ever be compensated for the emptiness and infinite heartache of being torn from his teammates during their once-in-a-lifetime quest.”
Montague’s expulsion has been a major storyline in the lead up to and during the NCAA tournament, as Yale advanced past its second-round game for the first time in the program’s history.
King’s words echoed similar claims by friends of Montague of a flawed Yale University-Wide Committee (UWC), the office tasked with investigating sexual-assault claims.
“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 defence one might receive in a real court,” Blake Thomson, a senior at Yale, told the Yale Daily News.
Further, some experts in matters of sexual assault accusations on college campuses say that “sufficient evidence” in these types of cases could have a variety of meanings.
“I’ve seen students get expelled on very thin evidence,” Hanna Stotland, a Harvard Law graduate who advises students on college transfers, told Business Insider. “You have non-professionals in quasi-judicial proceedings adjudicating,” she said.
But a spokesperson for Yale told Business Insider it stands behind its processes for investigating alleged incidents of sexual misconduct.
“Yale’s procedures for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct are thorough and fair: The allegations are investigated by an impartial fact finder, heard by five trained members of the Yale community, and decided by the accused student’s dean,” said the spokesperson, Tom Conroy.
He continued: “Only about one out of 10 cases ends in expulsion, and the decision to expel a student is made only after the most careful consideration, based on the facts and, when appropriate, disciplinary history.”
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