When news broke last month that the Harvard men’s soccer team kept a “scouting report” ranking the women’s soccer team by their looks and interest in sex, it wasn’t all that surprising. Gross for sure, but if you’ve been on a college campus with large Greek or athletic programs, it’s sort of assumed that this shit is going on. Which is why it’s not shocking that Harvard’s men’s cross country team also ranked women by their looks, just with spreadsheets instead of a more in-depth report.
The difference? They decided to save their asses with the university’s administration and come clean about it. I refuse to give these guys a pat on the back for coming forward with their documents, since it was seemingly just to make sure the university doesn’t cancel their season, as Harvard did with the men’s soccer team. It would be nice if they came forward because they realized it was a terrible thing to do in the first place.
The Harvard Crimson reported that the men’s cross country captain, Brandon E. Price, emailed his team after the news broke about the men’s soccer team’s sexist reports asking them to “come clean with anything that we have typed down in the past.” Price referenced a spreadsheet that’s created annually before a big dance with the women’s team where they made notes about the women’s appearance.
The Crimson also obtained copies of GroupMe chats among team members discussing the men’s soccer team’s “scouting report.” One recent grad references the 2012 team, saying, “Hahaha dude 2012 was the absolute worst I saw. It got tamer each year after that.” Apparently, the 2012 spreadsheet about the women’s cross country team included comments about their weight, too. Another member of the chat wrote, “Also 2014 talked about a specific person getting black dick a lot.”
The gentlemen swear the culture has changed though. Price told The Crimson that the team was “particularly ashamed” about the 2014 version. According to Price, this year’s spreadsheet doesn’t have any lewd comments. “We have really changed the team culture since then, and now the spreadsheet is clean and we try to refrain from making comments like that,” Price said.
Price shared one spreadsheet with the men’s cross country coach, Jason S. Saretsky, and called on team members to come forward with anything else that might be incriminating. Meanwhile, in the group chat, other men discussed the privacy permissions on the other docs and removing certain recent grads that might spill the beans about what’s in the reports.
In the group chat, they wrote:
“We know who they are.”
“Should I change the sharing on 2012?”
“Yeah probably for the best.”
Last week, University President Drew G. Faust said in a statement to The Crimson, “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.” At least the men’s cross country team somewhat got the message. Again, this is not an apology from the men’s team. Just a group effort to make sure they don’t embarrass themselves.
Now it’s a matter of seeing how many more “reports” like these are out there.
Original by Karen Fratti @karenfratti