Ex-Yale basketball captain Jack Montague allowed to proceed with lawsuit against school

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Jack Montague is back in the news; his lawsuit against Yale, whose hoop team he captained in 2016, is allowed to proceed by a federal judge.

The Jack Montague case has not gone away, despite an apparent standstill. On Tuesday, the way was cleared for the former Yale basketball captain’s suit to proceed against the university he was just a few months graduating from before being expelled for alleged sexual misconduct.

Montague’s alleged involvement first came to light when Yale was in Hanover, NH, in February 2016 for a late-season game against Dartmouth. It was a very good Bulldog team, arguably even better than the one which recently won the Ivy League tournament but lost in the opening round of March Madness to LSU.

The Bulldogs hardly missed Montague that night in Dartmouth, or for the remaining games enroute to the Ivy title. It was the last year for an automatic entry into the NCAA tournament by the Ivy League champion. For the past three seasons, a tournament comprising the four top finishers has determined the team to go to the Big Dance. This year it was, ironically, Yale.

To make a long story a bit shorter, Montague instituted a lawsuit against Yale that is still pending in the United States District Court in Hartford, District of Connecticut. The case has been assigned to Judge Alfred V. Covello.

The court ruling late yesterday by Judge Covello contains a compressive summary of all that proceeded. It contains many technical points of law that the lay person may not fully understand. Each side made motions to dismiss parts of the case, some of which the judge granted. But enough remains to allow the case to go to trial.

Lawyer’s reaction

Following is a statement issued by Max Stern, the attorney for Montague, after the decision on Yale’s Motion for Summary Judgment was made known:

“Jack Montague has always maintained that his expulsion from Yale in February 2016 – at the very moment he and the Yale basketball team were about to head to the NCAA tournament, and just three months before he was to be awarded the degree which he had all but earned – was the result of an unfair and biased disciplinary process which had been programed from the start to result in his dismissal.

Now a federal judge, having made a thorough review, has rejected Yale’s claims that Montague lacks evidence to support his case. Instead, the Court has concluded that Montague has produced sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on his claims that Yale, among other things:

“manipulated Montague’s sexual partner into pressing a formal complaint against him, including by misleading her with confidential and prejudicial information

“appointed as the Chair of the hearing panel, a person who had participated in that manipulation;

“conducted a fact-finding process and hearing that were biased in the collection, consideration and report of the evidence, including by suppressing evidence supporting Montague’s innocence and

“overall denied him the “fair, thorough and impartial process” to which he was entitled under the law and Yale’s own policies.”

The lawyer concluded his statement with a comment that most of us who have followed the case concur with:

“Jack Montague looks forward to presenting his case to a jury.”

This should be more dramatic than when game officials review the instant replay.

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