The Patrick Witt sex assault story gets messier: The Yale Daily News, which was just last year named the one of the gutsiest campus newspapers, knew for months that the Yale quarterback and onetime Rhodes candidate had been accused of sexual assault, but sat on the story. On Jim Romenesko's blog, last year's opinion editor reveals that the paper knew about the charges as early as November, as confirmed by multiple people who used to be or are still involved with the paper. And that's not all: During this period of time, the editor-in-chief of the paper actually considered running an editorial urging wealthy alumni to charter a private jet for Witt, so he wouldn't be forced to make his seemingly heroic choice between the Yale-Harvard game and his Rhodes interview.
A member of the paper's managing board tells Gawker the editorial never made it into the paper. Meanwhile, Witt has denied that his Rhodes candidacy was suspended over the allegations, and adds that he had made his decision between the game and the interview before the Rhodes Trust was aware of the accusation, the New York Times reports. Deadspin has the full statement from Witt's rep; it claims that after being made aware of the "informal" complaint against Witt, the Rhodes Trust simply asked for an additional letter of reference from Yale on Witt's behalf, but Witt had already decided to withdraw his candidacy at that point. Many questions remain, including whether those who endorsed Witt's application in the first place knew about the allegations.