The Yale men’s basketball team released a statement Wednesday apologizing for publicly supporting former captain Jack Montague.
Montague, who last played in the Bulldogs’ Feb. 6 game against Cornell, officially withdrew from school on Feb. 10, according to the Yale Daily News. The school announced on Feb. 24 that Montague would not return and his father later told the New Haven Register that his son had been expelled.
For the Feb. 26 game against Harvard, Montague’s teammates warmed up in shirts with his nickname (“Gucci”) and number on the back. This week, posters appeared around the Yale campus featuring photos of the warmup shirts, with the phrase “Yale men’s basketball, stop supporting a rapist.” The Yale Daily News reported that members of the basketball team were taking down the posters.
“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.”
New Haven Police Department spokesman Officer David Hartman told SI.com that the department has not received a sexual assault complaint from Yale, nor is there a report naming Montague as either a victim or perpetrator.
“To my knowledge, there is no sexual assault complaint outside our agency,” Hartman added.
Yale’s police department directed inquiries to the school’s office of public affairs, where a spokeswoman declined to comment, based on federal privacy laws.
“We have strict orders from our lawyers,” Jim Montague told the Register last week. “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.”
Yale beat Columbia on Saturday to clinch the Ivy League championship and its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1962.
- Dan Gartland