Harvard has canceled the men’s soccer team’s season after evidence pointed that the team continued to produce documents to rank women’s soccer recruits based on their sexual appeal and physics appearance. The first reports on the female soccer team members were discovered in 2012.
An Office of General Counsel review discovered that the men’s soccer team did not stop producing vulgar and explicit documents rating their fellow team players on their physical attractiveness. The men’s soccer team’s season was canceled by the Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise. He addressed the athletes via email and let them know that he decided to cancel their season because their offensive actions appeared to be more widespread across the soccer team members and had continued beyond 2012.
After knowing what the men’s soccer team was doing at the expenses of the women’s soccer recruits, Scalise decided to cancel the rest of the 2016 men’s soccer season. He stated the the team will forfeit its remaining games and will decline the opportunity to achieve an Ivy League championship or to participate in the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament.
The first time the soccer team was caught for creating such reports on the female soccer recruits was in 2012, reported The Crimson, Harvard’s newspaper. The “scouting report” rated women’s soccer recruits of that year numerically. The document also assigned each woman a hypothetical sexual position. Once the news was made public, University President Drew G. Faust instructed OGC to review the situation.
Faust asked Harvard’s team of lawyers to end the probe in a fairly short time frame to prevent the team from representing the university in case the allegations happen to be true, said Faust in an interview Thursday.
Scalise and University President Faust said members of the soccer team were not initially willing to fully cooperate with the investigation on the report and first did not assume responsibility. Faust expressed he was “deeply distressed” when he found out that the 2012 team actions were not isolated and continued to the present year.
“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.
Canceling the season is not the only measure Harvard is taking to stop the men’s soccer team lewd behavior
The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response will work to educate the men’s soccer team on this kind of misbehavior and will also include other athletes to avoid the spread of the team’s actions to other sporting groups.
Not everyone is happy with the suspension. Men’s Soccer Coach Pieter S. Lehrer wrote he was disappointed about missing the opportunities left of the 2016 season but added he respects the decision made by the administration.
The six 2012 women recruits involved in the initial report told The Crimson earlier this week that they were outraged because they were often told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities but simultaneously they were regularly reduced to a physical appearance.
The victims of the report condemned the men’s team behavior but ultimately forgave fellow players for their actions, reported the university’s newspaper.
Source: The Crimson