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Harvard men’s cross country team placed on ‘athletic probation’

Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. Charlie Mahoney/The New York Times

The Harvard men’s cross country team was placed on “athletic probation” Friday night after a review by university lawyers found that members of the 2014 team made “crude and sexualized statements” in an online spreadsheet about that year’s women’s team.

The probation was announced in an e-mail from Harvard Athletic Director Robert L. Scalise sent to team members Friday night.

Tim Williamson, a spokesman for Harvard athletics, provided a copy of the e-mail to the Globe.

The e-mail does not define the terms of “athletic probation.”

Scalise and other Harvard officials did not respond to requests for further comment.

The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, reported the probation on its website Friday night.


Scalise last month announced that the Office of the General Counsel would review allegations that the men’s cross country team created spreadsheets to determine which female runners would ask members of the men’s team to an end-of-season dance.

The action came days after the remainder of Harvard men’s soccer season was canceled after a university investigation found the team had created a lewd online “scouting report” of female athletes.

The cross country review found that a spreadsheet created by the 2016 team made “no personally denigrating entries aimed at members of the women’s team,” the e-mail states.

After the soccer team’s season ended abruptly, the cross country team’s captain, senior Brandon Price, had brought the spreadsheet to the attention of the head coach.

According to Scalise, members of the 2016 cross country team asked for the school’s support in improving shortcomings in the team’s culture, and took responsibility for past actions.

The team will now participate in training to improve team culture, the e-mail states.

“Harvard Athletics is working . . . to identify appropriate training and educational opportunities in which all members of the team will be required to participate,” Scalise wrote. “We want to again acknowledge that members of the current men’s cross country team, including the team captain, came forward to bring the spreadsheets to our attention.”


Samantha Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross