Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Harvard Just Canceled the Rest of Its Men’s Soccer Season As Punishment for a Sexist Tradition

Just last week, it was discovered that the 2012 men’s soccer team at Harvard had produced an offensive and sexually explicit “scouting report” of the university’s female soccer recruits. It was unclear if the team had continued to create the list after that year. But after an investigation, The Harvard Crimson reports, the university discovered that the tradition continued into this year—and has canceled the rest of the soccer team’s season as punishment. Though they’re the No. 1 team in the Ivy League, they’ll have no shot at winning this year’s Ivy League championship or NCAA Tournament.

The nine-page document from 2012 evaluated the year’s freshman women’s soccer recruits, but, whereas traditional reports center on players’ stats and physical fitness, this included photos of the recruits and ratings based on each woman’s physical appearance, often in vulgar language.

Harvard Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise saw the “scouting report” for the first time last week. He told the Crimson that he believes the “practice appears to be more widespread across the team” than it had been in 2012.

As expected, this season’s team members weren’t exactly eager to own up to the fact that they’ve been ranking and assigning hypothetical sexual positions to their female counterparts. But University President Drew G. Faust has no time for their silence.

“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,” she wrote in a recent statement.

Faust also pointed out that she’d like the university to investigate its other athletic teams to determine whether or not the men’s soccer situation is an isolated occurrence. Here’s hoping Harvard’s other athletes have left the scouting to their coaches.

Megan Sawey is a senior advertising major at Temple University. She maintains deep passions for puns, distance running, hula hooping and peanut butter. Originally from the woods of Western Pennsylvania, Megan now resides and writes in Philadelphia. You can find her on www.megansawey.com and www.girlslife.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @sanseysawey.