By Joel Alderman
Jack Montague followers and legal experts are anxiously awaiting what may be the imminent filing of the former Yale basketball captain’s lawsuit against the university he had attended until recently. According to his attorney, Max Stern of Boston, a court should be receiving the papers some time in April. Since the month is now half over, the time frame is rapidly closing in.
Stern told the magazine Business Insider that expelling Montague from Yale was “wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure.”
The basis of that action, whose reports in the media have spilled over from sports to general news, was whether Montague and a female student at the Ivy League college had a sexual relationship that was, on one particular occasion, consensual or non-consensual.
What could a lawsuit or settlement accomplish?
One of the objectives of legal action, the magazine believes, would be to permit Montague to finish out his senior year at Yale.
However, the magazine obtained an opinion about this likelihood from a law professor at, of all places, Harvard. She is Jeannie Suk, who in the past has stated that the criminal court system, not colleges, should be the judge of whether sexual misconduct took place.
“A lawsuit will not be able to force Yale to reverse its expulsion, even if Montague prevails against Yale in court. It will be a lawsuit for damages, alleging that Yale violated state and/or federal law in the policy or procedure they (Yale) used to investigate and adjudicate his disciplinary case,” Professor Suk was quoted as saying.
More likely than readmission, a settlement could involve an agreement to pay Montague money damages and/or that his expulsion would be expunged from his record, she believes.
The Harvard professor thinks that when the lawsuit is finally filed (perhaps any time now), it would claim that Yale violated Title IX, which prevents gender discrimination in education, among other things.
From the basketball court to a court of law
Regardless of how it turns out, the allegations, answers, motions, court pleadings and especially testimony (if it get that far) will be closely followed by the public and the media, especially since it involves one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world.
The opening tip should not be too far away.
It will be more than a game.