On Wednesday evening, Tim Bennett, the assistant director for Sports Publicity at Yale, released a statement on behalf of the men’s basketball team, whose qualification for the NCAA tournament — their first trip to the dance in 54 years — has been marred by a controversy surrounding the departure of starting point guard and captain Jack Montague.
Montague last played for Yale on February 6th. He status with the school was changed to “withdraw” on the 10th, and after an announcement that he had left the team on the 26th, the school eventually confirmed this week that Montague was, in fact, expelled. After a game against Dartmouth on the 27th, the story exploded into a national controversy when Montague’s teammates wore shirts with his nickname and number on the back and Yale spelled backwards on the front.
The following week, posters started popping up on campus stating that the men’s basketball team was “supporting a rapist”.
Here is the statement from Bennett:
“Yale Men’s Basketball fully supports a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate where all students can flourish. 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.”
Montague has yet to comment publicly on the ordeal, but his father did speak with the New Haven Register last week.
“We have strict orders from our lawyers,” Jim Montague told the paper. “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.”