Harvard University suspended its men’s soccer team for the remainder of its season Thursday after it was discovered members of the team had created a lewd “scouting report” of the appearance and attractiveness of the women’s team. The men’s team, currently in first place in the Ivy League, has two games remaining on its schedule. “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,” Harvard Athletic director Robert Scalise wrote in an email to student-athletes at the university.
The Harvard Crimson, the school’s student newspaper, reported last week on an email from the 2012 men’s team that assessed freshman recruits in extremely graphic and disparaging language on their attractiveness and sexual appeal. From the Crimson:
In what appears to have been a yearly team tradition… The author and his teammates referred to the nine-page document as a “scouting report,” and the author circulated the document over the group’s email list on July 31, 2012. In lewd terms, the author of the report individually evaluated each female recruit, assigning them numerical scores and writing paragraph-long assessments of the women. The document also included photographs of each woman, most of which, the author wrote, were culled from Facebook or the Internet…
The author of the “report” often included sexually explicit descriptions of the women. He wrote of one woman that “she looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated.” Each woman was assigned a hypothetical sexual “position” in addition to her position on the soccer field… Concluding his assessment of one woman, the author wrote, “Yeah… She wants cock.”
Upon further investigation, the administration found the ranking system was not an isolated incident, but a recurring practice of the men’s team, including the current squad. “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 Faust said in a prepared statement. “The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential, and 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.”