Public criticism of Yale basketball team continues on campus

The Yale Daily News is reporting another round of posters showing up on campus criticizing the team’s reaction to Jack Montague’s departure from campus last month.

Before their game against Harvard at Payne Whitney Gym on Senior Night Feb. 26, members of the team took the court wearing shirts with Montague’s jersey number and nickname, “Gucci,” on the back and “Yale” spelled backwards on the front, which Justin Sears characterized as a show of support for Montague after the game. The YDN reported posters featuring a picture of the team dressed in the shirts and asking Yale men’s basketball to “stop supporting a rapist” appeared all over campus, including at the entrance of Payne Whitney Gym.

On Thursday, Jack Montague’s father Jim told the New Haven Register that his son was expelled from the university for a “ridiculous” reason:

“We have strict orders from our lawyers,” said Jim Montague,. “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.

Then on Saturday, Yale clinched its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962 with a win at Columbia, and a picture of Yale player Khaliq Ghani with “Gucci” written on his wrist tape and holding up four fingers to represent Montague’s jersey number at the game was featured on a poster that read “Shame on you” and “Khaliq Ghani supports a rapist.” Another poster spliced together two separate quotes from coach James Jones, featuring the combined quotes: “[Sexual assault] isn’t of any interest to me … Jack knows how we feel about him — we love him.” As the News explains:

The quoted words combined two statements Jones made to media outlets on Saturday. He told Sports Illustrated, “That isn’t of any interest to me,” referring not to sexual assault, but to online rumors about Montague’s departure. He added, “The only interesting thing to me right now is winning a basketball game.” That same night, he told ESPN, “Jack knows how we feel about him — we love him.”

Around 100 poster copies appeared inside Dunham Laboratory early Tuesday morning. United Against Sexual Assault at Yale, the Yale Black Women’s Coalition and the Yale Women’s Center will hold a “chalk-in” on Cross Campus in response to campuswide attention discussions about the team and in support of sexual assault survivors at the university, according to the News.

The News’ report of this latest wave of posters comes just hours after the Cornell Daily Sun reported Cornell freshman basketball player Xavier Eaglin was arrested on rape charges Sunday.

7 thoughts on “Public criticism of Yale basketball team continues on campus

  1. The fundamental dishonesty in the way Coach Jones’ words were spliced together (by some anonymous jerk) to make him look like a horrible and uncaring human being should tell you all you need to know about the grotesque methods of the accusers (and other people) involved here. Just like the word “rapist” was dishonestly used to describe JM — notwithstanding the fact that if he were really a criminal “rapist” he would would have been arrrested and charged like Xavier Eaglin. But he has not been, and there are no charges pending. This is why I was highly critical of this Ivy Hoops panel before the game last weekend…it’s like you folks have your heads stuck in the sand and don’t understand the agenda driven realities going on these days — often devoid of factual basis — that animate universities and campus student groups. You want to seem “sensitive” and “caring” while someone gets railroaded for a political agenda. Again, that’s not to say there are not real sexual assaults committed on campus — the Eaglin situation seems to be one — but the rush to judgment by this panel in the JM situation was disgraceful. And even greater caution is warranted in light of the blatantly dishonest and manipulative way the accusers are going after Coach Jones.

    • I think we can agree that Jones’ words were certainly unfairly manipulated in this instance. Your conspiracy theory about a broad “political agenda” on college campuses, though, is not backed up by the vast amount of evidence that shows that this is a serious issue on campuses all over the country.

      Additionally, the only judgment we made last week was that the basketball team erred in making a public spectacle of the situation. I, of course, agree that the facts of the case are unknown and the truth will eventually emerge in time. We made no judgment on JM’s innocence or guilt. Given that it seems at least possible that JM is guilty of misconduct, my point was that the public show of support for him by the team was inappropriate. It attracted more of the media spotlight due to their actions, which benefitted no one. Even if the team feels they know JM is innocent, I think they should have had the foresight to realize the unproductive controversy their actions would spur.

      • Whether or not the team’s action hurt Montague by calling attention to his case and speeding up disclosure of his case is hard to gauge. It is possible that the heat and public support by the team will mildly deter the administration by mobilizing public support and signalling that those who know him well are confident enough of his actions and/or character to go out on a limb in his support.

        And you are most certainly wrong about the politics of sexual misconduct on campus. It is very much an ideological and political power grab by a small group of activists and their more-numerous fellow travelers, abetted by apparatchiks in the Dept. of Education’s Office of Equal Opportunity. This politicization has been documented widely and Yale is a prominent, though hardly unique, locus of conflict, where the grievance department has been cooking the books to make the campus look more dangerous than it is.

  2. The misquoted James Jones poster has taken this from a legitimate debate about the players’ protest to Yale student activists bending what little is known about this to fit their pet cause.

  3. Coach Jones will surely receive a couple job offers this April and will now be giving them a harder look than ever. It will be sad to see him go.

  4. See Patrick Witt situation and ensuing op Ed or go back to bialskis. I think the loser in the witch hunt will be Yale admin. Time will tell but my guess is it might cost them some $s

  5. After 5pm today, Yale Associate Director of Sports Publicity Tim Bennett sent out a statement from the men’s basketball team.

    http://sportzedge.com/2016/03/09/yale-releases-statement-on-controversy-surrounding-support-for-ex-teammate/

    “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.”

    Regarding Coach Jones’ comments to Sports Illustrated, Eileen O’Conner, Yale Vice President for Communications, sent the following comment to Ellie Schechet of Jezebel:

    http://jezebel.com/yale-mens-basketball-team-releases-statement-apologizin-1763897141

    “The quote attributed to Coach Jones was taken completely out of context. The Coach, Yale Athletics, and the University care deeply about providing a safe environment for all. At the time he was interviewed, immediately prior to a championship game, he was referencing that his immediate concern and interest was that game.”

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