Yale Quarterback Who Withdrew As Rhodes Scholar Did So Because He Was Accused Of Sexual Assault, Not Because Of The Harvard GameS

There was apparently much more to the story of Patrick Witt, the Yale quarterback who drew praise from all angles for choosing the big Harvard-Yale game over his Rhodes Scholarship interview. The New York Times punctured that myth today, reporting that Witt was dropped as a Rhodes candidate after the Rhodes Trust had learned that Witt was accused by a fellow student of sexual assault.

In September, a female student approached Yale's in-house Sexual Assault Harassment and Response and Education Center, claiming Witt had assaulted her in her dorm room. It's not clear how the Rhodes Trust became aware of the allegation, only that it was "not made formally by a Yale official." About a week before the Harvard game, the Rhodes Trust informed school administrators that Witt's candidacy was suspended, and Yale would have to re-endorse Witt if he were to participate in the final round of interviews in Atlanta. Before Yale returned with a decision, Witt released a statement through the athletic department that he was pulling out of the Rhodes process.

"I will be playing in the Yale-Harvard game this Saturday," it said. "I have withdrawn my application for the Rhodes scholarship."

The quarterback did not tie the two sentences, but journalists did, reporting that he had given up on the scholarship so that he could play. Neither Witt nor Yale corrected the misimpression.

At Yale, the Collapse of a Rhodes Scholar Candidacy [NY Times]