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Harvard Cancels Men's Soccer Season Over Sexist Ranking Of Female Players

The men's soccer team created a "scouting report" ranking the women's team recruits on their perceived physical attributes and sexual appeal.

Posted on November 4, 2016, at 10:45 a.m. ET

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Harvard University canceled the rest of the men's soccer team season over the team's sexist tradition of ranking female soccer recruits on their perceived physical attributes and sex appeal.

The Harvard Crimson — the student newspaper — reported last week on a 2012 "scouting report" made by the men's soccer team that evaluated women using sexually explicit terms and assigned them a hypothetical sexual position.

The Crimson's report prompted the university to conduct an immediate review of the "offensive and derogatory" document on Tuesday. The review found that the practice of ranking women "appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016," Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise wrote in an email to Harvard's student athletes.

"As a direct result of what Harvard Athletics has learned, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season. 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," Scalise wrote in the email provided to BuzzFeed News. "Harvard Athletics has zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

Calling the decision to cancel the season "serious and consequential," University President Drew G. Faust said in a statement that 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."

Scalise and Faust also criticized the current players for not being forthcoming about their involvement in the sexist incident when initially questioned.

Pieter Lehrer, the Harvard men's soccer coach, said in a statement, "We are beyond disappointed that our season has ended this way, but we respect the decision made by the administration."


The 2012 "scouting report" viewed by the Crimson contained sexually explicit descriptions of the year's women's soccer recruits, ranking them numerically and assigning a position to each based on their perceived sexual experience.

"She looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate and likes to be dominated," the document said of one woman.

"She seems relatively simple and probably inexperienced sexually, so I decided missionary would be her preferred position,” the "report's" author wrote about another woman.

The women's hypothetical positions were listed as "Doggy style," "The Triple Lindy" and "cowgirl," the Crimson reported.

"She seems to be very strong, tall and manly so, I gave her a 3 because I felt bad," the author said of one player. "Yeah...She wants cock," the author concluded about another woman.

Other women's physical attributes were described in offensive terms such as "Gumbi" because "her gum to tooth ratio is about 1 to 1." The author said he was "forced to rate her a 6."

Six members of the 2012 women's soccer recruiting class responded to the "scouting report" in a Crimson op-ed, calling the men's actions and words "careless, disgusting, and appalling" and "an aberrant display of misogyny."

"Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realize these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behavior, and for more than four years have neglected to apologize until this week," the women wrote.

They said they had seen the entire "scouting report" and had read the "descriptions of our bodies, the numbers we were each assigned, and the comparison to each other and recruits in classes before us."

"This document attempts to pit us against one another, as if the judgment of a few men is sufficient to determine our worth," the women wrote. "But, men, we know better than that. Eighteen years of soccer taught us that. Eighteen years — as successful, powerful, and undeniably brilliant female athletes — taught us that."

Scalise said the university will take steps to educate the men's soccer team about "the seriousness of these behaviors and the general standard of respect and conduct that is expected."

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