Harvard has cancelled the men’s soccer team’s season after an Office of General Counsel review found that the team continued to produce vulgar and explicit documents rating women on their perceived sexual appeal and physical appearance.
Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise wrote in an email to Harvard student athletes that he decided to cancel the rest of the team’s season because the “practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016.”
“As a direct result of what Harvard Athletics has learned, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season,” Scalise wrote. “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.”
Last week, The Crimson reported that the 2012 men’s soccer team created a “scouting report” of that year’s women’s soccer recruits, rating them numerically and assigning each a hypothetical sexual position. University President Drew G. Faust instructed OGC, Harvard’s team of lawyers, to “review” the matter.
“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,” Faust wrote in a statement.
Faust wrote she “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.”
Last week, when Scalise first saw the documents—which were, until recently, publicly accessible through the 2012 team’s Google Group—he said he would immediately reach out to coaches of both men’s and women’s teams to discuss the report, but added that any response should be internal to Harvard and “not a media thing.”
Men’s soccer coach Pieter S. Lehrer wrote in a statement that the team is “beyond disappointed that our season has ended in this way, but we respect the decision made by our administration.”