On the heels of last spring’s still smoldering expulsion of Yale basketball captain Jack Montague for alleged sexual behavior, another prestigious Ivy League university, Harvard, has just brought an abrupt end to its mens’ soccer schedule, thus disqualifying the Crimson the possibility of taking part in the NCAA tournament.
If Harvard could have played and won its scheduled game against Columbia on Saturday, it would have gained an automatic entry into the tournament. Now it has also removed itself from consideration an at large entry.
Yale will not be affected by the cancellation, since on Oct. 1st, the Bulldogs played to an exciting 3-3 double overtime tie at Harvard.
The Crimson’s Athletics Director, Robert Scalise, wrote in an email to students on Thursday that he decided to end the season because some current team members have continued a practice that first came to light in 2012. That team had produced so-called “scouting reports” in which women soccer players at Harvard were rated on the basis of sexual appeal and physical appearance.
According to the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, Scalise stated that the “practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016.”
He added that 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.”
Harvard’s president, Drew G. Faust. said 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.”
Scalise said that “Harvard Athletics has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”
The university’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response will supposedly work further to “educate the men’s soccer team specifically and student-athletes generally,” according to Scalise.