Middlebury player suing school after being dismissed from team

According to a report out of WPTZ in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Middlebury junior forward Jak Knelman has filed a lawsuit against the school and coach Bill Beaney stemming from his dismissal from the team this past January.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000 and alleges that Knelman feels he was wrongly booted from the team when he left an alumni hockey banquet before it ended.

Knelman claims he left early to spend time with his father, who was visiting for the weekend. Knelman’s lawyers claim that Beaney berated Knelman in front of the entire team and then suspended and dismissed Knelman from the team.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., Wednesday morning, seeks recovery of damages and equitable relief to remedy breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duties and defamation in conjunction with his dismissal from the team.

Middlebury issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

Middlebury College will answer the specifics of the complaint by Middlebury student James Knelman in due course. As with most lawsuits, there’s more to the story than has been presented by one side’s attorney. Middlebury values its student-athletes, the successes they have achieved in academics and sports, and the coaches who provide their teams with leadership and support.