Harvard has suspended its men’s soccer team after discovering the squad had a “scouting report” of the women’s team—a document that rated the appearance of the female players and made lewd comments about their physical characteristics.
Sharing the document was a widespread practice for Harvard men’s teams of past and present, according to the Wall Street Journal. The penalty was enforced after the school’s lawyers discovered the document.
As is often the case with college stories, the student newspaper is the place to start. The Harvard Crimson has been all over this one.
Last week, the Crimson reported that the 2012 men’s team had a document that included descriptions of women’s soccer recruits—including nicknames, narrative descriptions, a numerical-scale assessment of their attractiveness, and potential sexual positions to use with them.
“I was deeply distressed to learn that the appalling actions of the 2012 men’s soccer team were not isolated to one year or the actions of a few individuals,” Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said in a statement.
Faust has instructed the school’s general counsel’s office to review this issue.
Harvard’s athletic director has canceled the remainder of the men’s team’s season. They were ranked No. 1 in the Ivy League.
“As a direct result of what Harvard Athletics has learned, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season,” wrote Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise in an email to Harvard student-athletes, according to The Crimson. “The team will forfeit its remaining games and will decline any opportunity to achieve an Ivy League championship or to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year.”
Faust says the team will be engaged in “a systematic program of training.”
It seems the men’s team wasn’t totally honest when pressed about this initially. Faust said cancelling the season “reflects Harvard’s view that both the team’s behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community."
Come on, guys. At any point in the past four years, don't you think there might have been one team leader who said, "hey, maybe this isn't such a great idea"?