Sports

Harvard Cancels Men's Soccer Season for Lewd "Scouting Reports" of Women's Recruits

Last week, the Harvard Crimson uncovered a document by the 2012 men's soccer team ranking female recruits by appearance and imagined sexual preferences. The university has discovered that those reports continued through this year.
November 4, 2016, 3:10pm
Harvard's practice field in 2012. Photo by PhotographyNatalia on Flikr Commons

Harvard canceled their men's soccer season on Thursday after discovering that the team kept a sexually explicit "scouting report" of recruits for the women's soccer team as recently as this year, according to the Harvard Crimson.

The Crimson first reported last week about a document created by the 2012 men's team—publicly accessible via their Google Group until recently—that had numerical ratings for the women's physical appearance, and included their imagined preferred sexual positions. The school's Office of General Counsel looked into the documents and determined that it had been updated by this year's current team, and decided to take action against them.

"The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential," University President Drew Gilpin Faust wrote in a statement. "[It] 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."

Six of the women's recruits who were rated in the 2012 document wrote an op-ed for The Crimson earlier this week, condemning the men's team for the document.

"More than anything," they wrote, "we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance."

Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise wrote in an email to athletes that the Harvard's Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response will work with the men's soccer team to "further educate" them and other Harvard athletes.