Harvard president orders review of soccer team’s sexually explicit ‘scouting report’

Harvard is reviewing the men’s soccer team’s sexually explicit “scouting report” of freshmen women soccer players.
Harvard is reviewing the men’s soccer team’s sexually explicit “scouting report” of freshmen women soccer players.Reuters/File

Harvard President Drew Faust has asked the university’s Office of the General Counsel to “conduct an immediate review” of the 2012 men’s soccer team’s sexually explicit “scouting report” of freshmen women soccer players.

The report, which assigned ‘ratings’ to recruits based on their physical appearance and sexual appeal, has ‘no place at Harvard,” Faust wrote in a statement Tuesday to the Harvard Crimson that was also provided to the Globe.

The Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper, reported the offensive remarks last week. The “scouting guide” was circulated July 31, 2012, through an e-mail server that was public on Google Groups, until recently, the Crimson reported.


The freshmen players were ranked by number, given written and photographic descriptions of their appearance, and assigned assumed sexual behavior.

The OGC’s review will be separate from any action that may be taken by the university's Title IX program, Faust said.

“I want to ensure not only that such actions do not happen again, whether on men’s soccer or any other Harvard team, but also that all members of our community fully understand that such activities have never been, and never will be, acceptable at Harvard,” she said.

Faust’s statement came after news of the “scouting report” was condemned by other Harvard administrators.

Rakesh Khurana, dean of Harvard College, told the Globe last week that the actions detailed in the Crimson directly oppose Harvard’s values. Khurana was not the dean when the report was distributed.

“As a human being, and a member of the Harvard College community, I am always profoundly disturbed and upset by allegations of sexism, because I feel it is wrong and antithetical to this institution’s fundamental values,” Khurana said in a statement. “No one should be objectified.”

In a joint op-ed published in the Crimson last Friday, six members of the 2012 women’s soccer team address the “scouting report.”


“More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives,” they wrote. “We are concerned for the future, because we know that the only way we can truly move past this culture is for the very men who perpetrate it to stop it in its tracks.”

Robert Scalise, athletic director at Harvard, told the Globe last week that he encouraged anyone with information about “disparaging acts or remarks” to speak to authorities as early as possible so school officials can take appropriate action.

“We expect all members of our teams to act like members of the Harvard community, and we hold them to the same standards as everyone else,” he said in a statement. “Treating others with respect is one of the core values of the college.”

Globe correspondent Felicia Gans contributed to this report. Samantha Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross.