Star Yale Quarterback Lost Rhodes Scholarship Bid After Sexual Assault Allegation; Yale Daily News Buried the Story
Last fall the national press fell in love with Patrick Witt, a Yale quarterback, and NFL hopeful, who gave up his finalist interview for a Rhodes scholarship so he could play in the Harvard-Yale game.
Now the New York Times reports that, in fact, Witt didn’t turn down the interview of his own accord: the Rhodes committee suspended his candidacy and cancelled his interview after someone (who was not a Yale official) informed it that Witt had been accused of sexual assault in September.
It’s not clear whether the Yale official who initially approved Witt to apply for the Rhodes knew about the sexual assault incident, for which Witt went through an informal disciplinary process (and seemingly faced no consequences?) — but it’s likely he did. Interesting factoid: Witt was a member of DKE, the Yale frat that made really horrible headlines for sexual harrassment a few years ago. So this is very ugly for Yale.
Witt is reportedly no longer enrolled at Yale (?) but is still finishing his thesis? Unclear.
But, wait. That the story was broken by the Times probably strikes you as odd; the Yale Daily News — second best collegiate paper in the land — is normally all over these types of scandals like white on rice. In fact, that might be the most amazing angle of this sorry story: Former YDN opinion editor (and IG editor emeritus) Alex Klein reports that the News had known about Witt’s Rhodes woes since as early as November, but the paper’s editor in chief, Max de La Bruyere, elected to sit on the story. We reached out to the News — asking “WTF???” — but haven’t yet heard back.
And, one last quick and relevant reminder: Witt’s football coach resigned in December after it was exposed that he lied about having been a Rhodes scholar finalist.