Ivy League Dead Ball
November 7th, 2016 – The men’s soccer team at Harvard had their remaining season canceled last Thursday after a document ranking the women soccer recruits by their sexual appeal and physical appearance was found to be created by team members. The “scouting report” was first brought to light by the university’s student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson at the end of October.
The nine-page document was authored by a player on the 2012 team and appears to be a yearly tradition for the team. The paper found out that the players would assign a numerical number to the incoming female soccer players, write a lengthy assessment of their physical features and even assign a sexual position to correlate to her position on the field.
“She seems relatively simple and probably inexperienced sexually, so I decided missionary would be her preferred position,” the author wrote about one woman. “Doggy style,” “The Triple Lindy,” and “cowgirl” were listed as possible positions for other women,” the document listed.
The document and all the recipients’ email addresses were (up until this became public knowledge) available on a Google group. The university found that multiple players were emailing about the list and replying with support and laughter. The Harvard Crimson found the following inside the document:
“The ‘report’ appears to have been an annual practice. At the beginning of the document, the author writes that ‘while some of the scouting report last year was wrong, the overall consensus that’ a certain player ‘was both the hottest and the most STD ridden was confirmed.'”
Lawyers for the university began investigating the incident after the paper published the story, and last week the decision to end the team’s No. 1 Ivy League season was made. Robert L. Scalise, Harvard’s athletic director, wrote an email to the university’s student-athletes Thursday evening explaining its action. He cited that the practice of issuing a lewd “scouting report” appeared to be widespread across the team and continued past 2012 – well into 2016.
“We strongly believe that this immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary if we are to create an environment of mutual support, respect and trust among our students and our teams,” Scalise said.
The team was also forced to decline any opportunity to achieve an Ivy League championship or to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year. But University president Drew Faust believes the decision reinforces Harvard’s core values.
“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.
Six members of the women’s soccer team wrote a response in the student newspaper saying they were “beyond hurt” by players they had considered “close friends.” “To the men of Harvard soccer and to the men of the world, we invite you to join us, because ultimately we are all members of the same team,” they also wrote. “We are human beings and we should be treated with dignity.” The men’s team did issue an apology last Friday stating they accepted responsibility and are looking for actions to take to address sexism in their community.
Do you think the “scouting report” crossed a line? Do you think the university made the right decision by canceling the remainder of the men’s soccer season? Share your thoughts below.