Recruits for Harvard’s 2012 women’s soccer team were reportedly assessed by a member of that year's men’s soccer team based on their sexual appeal.
Reported by the Harvard Crimson, a nine-page document circulated over email as a “scouting report” in 2012 gave freshmen women numerical scores and included photos pulled from social media sites. The women were also assigned hypothetical sexual positions and nicknames.
The lewd document appeared to be a tradition, as it referred to a report from 2011.
"Harvard University Athletics has zero tolerance for behavior of this kind and is deeply upset by these offensive and derogatory remarks," athletic director Robert L. Scalise said in a statement obtained by necn. "Harvard College students, including members of our athletic teams, are required to uphold the values of this community, which are rooted in the respect and dignity for all members of our community. University Athletics continues to reinforce with our student-athletes appropriate and respectful social behavior and team conduct."
A member of the 2012 women's soccer team who wanted to remain anonymous called the scouting report "absolutely disgusting" in an email to necn. She said she was "deeply hurt, and beyond frustrated" that women are treated this way, not only at Harvard but at other school campuses and around the world.
She added that the Crimson article read like a "tabloid" report at her own expense, and that of the Harvard soccer teams and athletic programs.
Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana told the Boston Globe the team's actions are against the institute's core values. She said she is "disturbed and upset" by the allegations. "No one should be objectified."
Pieter Lehrer, the men's soccer coach, added that he was "shocked and disgusted" by the report. He was not the coach in 2012.
Several members of the 2012 men's soccer team declined comment when reached by the Crimson.
The school's women's soccer coach, Christopher P. Hamblin, said in a statement to the Crimson that he was "saddened to see this level of disrespect shown to these women." He referenced a "huge shift" in the culture of the men's soccer program" since Lehrer's hiring in 2013.
Rachael Dane, Spokesperson for Harvard University, released a statement Wednesday evening saying, "The offensive and derogatory remarks reported by the Crimson have no place at Harvard. This kind of behavior is completely at odds with the educational environment we seek to foster and with our central value of treating one another with dignity and respect — in our residences, in classrooms, on the athletic fields, and in our social experiences. Now that we have been made aware of this document and its contents, the University is working to assess the circumstances surrounding it.”