On the Vine – Mar. 3, 2016

The panel considers Yale’s show of support for Jack Montague, looks back at Columbia-Princeton and ahead to the final weekend of Ivy regular season play. Peter Andrews and Mike Tony are joined by Michael James (@ivybball), IHO founder Ian Halpern and IHO writer George Clark for this episode.

16 thoughts on “On the Vine – Mar. 3, 2016”

  1. How about if Cornell takes the lottery approach against Yale that Princeton took against Columbia in game 2. Let Hatter, Morgan, Darryl Smith and Falls hoist 3’s and concede the 2’s to Yale(many of which Yale would get anyway). On the right night, all four of these can be very good 3 point shooters. It worked for Hartford last night against Albany. Maybe it will work here too. Plus, the guards harassing Yale guards bringing up the ball which was mentioned on the podcast will help too.

    • With its dominant inside play, Yale should get lots of close to the basket shots for Sears and Sherrod, as well as a fair amount of offensive rebounds. They also should be able to draw plenty of fouls – the problem for the Elis would be making their free throws. While the loss of Montague limits Yale’s three point shooting, the team should still be able to hit 5-7.

      For Cornell, their strengths involve transition and dribble penetration. They are not good at a half court offense that passes the ball around the periphery and shoots threes. Even if their big 4 can hit a large number of threes (which will be extremely tough given how good Yale’s defense is), it is very difficult to cancel out the higher percentage shots and free throws that worked out well for Dartmouth, Harvard and Penn over the last few weeks.

      With that stated, one never knows ……

  2. Thanks for the great podcast. I greatly appreciate the powerful comments from Peter, Mike and Ian regarding the horrible events at Yale.

  3. I’d like to congratulate Peter Andrews on his hosting performance in this and previous episodes of the podcast. Peter, you’ve got a lively wit and your consistently funny self-deprecating persona is a perfect fit with your Columbia fandom. Some day in the future, when Columbia is dominating the Ivy League, it may be more difficult for you to be as entertaining.

    Question: Are the heights you listed for the panelists at the beginning of the episode true? George 5’11”, Peter 6’1″, Mike T 6’3″, Mike J 6’5″ and Ian 6’5″? If those are your actual heights, the Ivy League can probably boast the tallest fan website contributors.

    • Re: Montague, while I agree it probably was not a good idea for the Yale team to publicly support a teammate against whom accusations of this sort was made, assuming they were aware of all the details, it’s outrageous for this panel to talk about some sort of widespread rape epidemic on the Yale campus. Really? Most of these studies regarding sexual assault have been debunked, as statistically meaningless, and the notion that there is a huge rape problem on campus is absurd. Take a look at how broadly Yale defines “sexual assault” (e.g., simply made to feel uncomfortable can be deemed assault) and you’ll understand how it’s possible for the statistics to be as they are. Citing Huffpo and Jezebel as some sort of reliable sources? That’s irresponsible. In light of the Columbia debacle where a student was falsely accused of raping a student, we need to be really careful about overgeneralizing regarding charges like this. There are often situations where people get drunk, or there is morning after regret. I have no idea whether that’s the case here, but the people on this panel need to be more responsible with their words. Having said that, I agree the Yale bb team should not have gone public, but I won’t be listening to the clowns on this panel if they are going to be so sloppy with discussing serious issues like this.

      • @JS – How is it outrageous to point out a fact that Yale itself has repeatedly acknowledged – that it has a comparatively high frequency of sexual assault relative to other Ivy and non-Ivy universities?

        Here’s a solid piece from The Atlantic that ran in January which lays out some reasons why sexual assault is difficult to quantify: The one-in-five figure was retracted due to a limited data study but resurrected after a more thorough Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, the Clery Act data only reflects incidents reported through formal procedures, resulting in sexual assault being notoriously underreported. Naturally, surveys come with their own ambiguities and complications, but the realization that sexual assault is highly likely to be underreported for any number of reasons – reprisal, thinking it’s a personal matter, lack of trust in authorities, etc. (as both common sense and the Justice Department indicate) should supersede any quibble over the plus/minus accuracy of a select poll. It’s the polar opposite of irresponsible to recognize that, and in so doing, cite a Huffington Post article based on a semi-annual report on Yale sexual misconduct and a Jezebel article that merely shared pictures from campus and cited the same pieces of info that we’ve seen elsewhere.

        To dismiss campus sexual assault statistics out of hand as “meaningless” or “phony” is to fail to appreciate the power of data that has led to greater recognition of and reaction to women students’ experiences with sexual violence, and to deny the legitimacy of those who reported being sexually assaulted.

    • @William M. – My guess is Peter would love to encounter that difficulty, and I’m sure he would manage to be just as entertaining anyway. The heights of the panelists are indeed true, so if we were playing against an actual Ivy basketball team, maybe we’d lose by 70 instead of 80.

  4. I was also quite disappointed in the opening rush to judgment from the panel. Given the witch-hunt atmosphere on campuses today (as attested by a number of feminist writers and law professors), it is irresponsible to promote phony statistics or to assume that the players have no specific reason to believe in their teammate’s innocence or to assume that the accused is being treated fairly by the university. He may well turn out to be guilty of something serious, but a show of support that never mentioned sexual assault hardly ought to be divisive; were it not for the anonymous character assassins putting up posters, nobody would have associated the team’s action with that issue.

    It would be wise to wait for law enforcement and/or the courts to rule before condemning the team. If and when the facts show that a crime or at least a tort has occurred, then there will be great interest from all of us in trying to understand whether athletic culture at Yale enabled it. The team’s demonstration will then be evaluated in that light. But not before, and not on the basis of anonymous posters.

    • @SRP – See my response to JS re: “phony statistics.” I agree the team had the right to make its show of support, but any character assassination that has followed can clearly be traced back to that decision. Your belief that “nobody would have associated the team’s action with that issue” is true outside of Yale’s campus, but not within it, and the team had to know that. No one on the panel indicated a presumption of guilt toward Montague. We don’t know whether the players have specific reason to believe the accused or whether those close to the accuser have specific reason to believe that person. What we do know is that the team has brought all this scrutiny on itself and its beleaguered ex-teammate.

      • The statistics are indeed phony. Yale counts every case of someone feeling “uncomfortable” as an assault. There is a dedicated industry of professional Title IX grievance mongers as well as ideologues who are determined to create mathematically impossible fantasies that elite college campuses are especially dangerous places for young women. Here is a detailed essay going over the situation at Yale.

        You are indeed presuming Montague’s guilt by suggesting that supporting him is promoting a climate friendly to sexual assault. If he were innocent, how could a show of support be taken as creating an unfriendly climate? This assertion makes little sense.

        • The problem with that post is it immediately problematizes Yale’s regular issuance of reports on handling of sexual assault complaints, as if the university’s transparency is a bad thing. Then it condemns purposefully broad definitions of sexual assault and abuse and insinuates the illegitimacy of anonymous complaints. Later, it wonders why the number of cases that went to the UWC is significantly lower than what was documented in the Spangler Report without acknowledging that many of its participants may not have chosen to additionally bring legitimate cases up for formal resolution. The author then admits that the UWC found multiple non-guilty findings, which at least suggests that the body may well protect the rights of the accused as well as the accuser.

          “If he were innocent, how could a show of support be taken as creating an unfriendly climate?”

          Easily, because the nature of the alleged crime in question is a trigger for many student women on campus where sexual assault has been a well-documented issue, Weighing in on the team’s show of support for Montague does not constitute a presumption of guilt against him. It is absurd to suggest otherwise.

          • Your use of “trigger” is something of a tell here. There is.no reason why a show of support not mentioning the reason for withdrawal ought to trigger anybody who hasn’t assumed guilt. That’s what’s absurd. The KC Johnson report and the links within establish that Yale administrators are exaggerating the data to create a moral panic or phony crisis about sexual assault on campus, and you have played into their hands, no doubt with the best of intentions.

          • @SRP (and @JS) – There’s nothing unreasonable about suggesting that the team’s show of support can be understandable from a team perspective but also insensitive and divisive, unarguably inviting an intense scrutiny toward Montague and the basketball program that did not exist before said show of support. It’s fine to call for more exacting data on the subject and debate whether Yale can be more effective in assuring the rights of both accuser and accused in such cases, but not to deny that sexual assault is indeed a very real problem at Yale and other Ivies, which the various in-depth surveys mentioned plus extensive chronicles in the Yale Daily News, Yale Herald and many other publications in recent years bear out. Yale must remain held institutionally responsible for that. That was the gist of our comments on the podcast. I stand by them. But I appreciate the reader/listenership and passionate thoughts regardless.

  5. Good summary below of the nonsense going on at places like Yale. What was really so offensive here was the use of the word “rapist” to describe Montague in the posters — and no one on this panel said a word about it. If Montague were indeed a rapist, or alleged to be one, he would have been taken away in handcuffs by the police and would be facing years in prison. Does anyone think that’s a possibility? Of course not. Which means that the folks on this panel, like many in academia, have simply lost their collective minds — and bought into the imaginary “culture of rape” nonsense that suggests colleges campuses are bastions of lurking danger for women and racial minorities. Does that mean that boorish behavior does not occur? Of cousre not. Does that mean that there are occasional encounters where a male student steps over the line and acts in a way inconsistent with university norms, short of criminal behavior, that requires some sort of penalty. Absolutely. But the wholesale presumption of guilt conveyed by the panel, without in any way urging caution about the use of the word “rapist” that showed up on the campus posters reprehensible. And it’s obvious that someone within the university leaked the allegations — hence the posters going up — in a way that violates the university’s responsibility here. I sense a major defamation lawsuit coming up, which I suspect Montague’s lawyers will file once the NCAA tournament is over.


  6. The fact that well-meaning and intelligent people continue to promote the line that there is a “rape crisis” on college campuses despite the detailed destruction of this claim by numerous investigators is the root of the problem. The natural urge to treat this as an apolitical, “all good people are concerned by this” type of issue is precisely the weak spot targeted by the ideologues and administrators who seek to gain power through its exploitation. Unfortunately, every claim of sexual misconduct on campus, especially on elite campuses, and every claim about the climate on campus, now has to be processed through a political filter if the truth be sought.

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