Harvard University has been roiled by a controversy involving its men's soccer team. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Harvard University cancels rest of men's soccer season over lewd ratings of female athletes

John Tomase
November 03, 2016 - 3:54 pm

Harvard University on Thursday canceled the rest of its men's soccer season after discovering that players have been compiling online documents rating the women's team on physical appearance and sexual attractiveness since 2012. Harvard president Drew Faust announced the news. "I 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, but appear to have been more wide-spread across the team and have continued beyond 2012, including in the current season," she said in a statement. The Harvard Crimson reported last week the existence of a Google document, written in 2012 by unidentified members of the men's team, rating freshmen women's players on their looks and perceived sexual abilities, in graphic terms. Six of those women, who still play soccer at Harvard, wrote an op-ed in the Crimson on Saturday entitled, "Stronger Together," that took their classmates to task. The school launched an investigation and discovered the ratings system was not a one-time occurrence, but in fact continued into this season. Athletic director Robert Scalise e-mailed students on Thursday informing them of the harsh discipline. "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," he wrote. "As we move forward, Harvard Athletics will partner with the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and other Harvard College resources to take additional steps to further educate the members of our men's soccer team, and all of our student-athletes, about the seriousness of these behaviors and the general standard of respect and conduct that is expected. Harvard Athletics has zero tolerance for this type of behavior." The Crimson are 10-3-2 and have won six straight, but they have withdrawn themselves from consideration for the Ivy League title or postseason play.