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Harvard University suspends men's soccer team over lewd comments

Cambridge, Nov 5 (IANS) Harvard University has suspended its men's soccer team for the rest of the season after the university discovered the team had created a "scouting report" that ranked the members of the women's team on their attractiveness.

A story published in the Harvard Crimson last week suggests that the practice went as far back as 2012, Mashable.com reported on Friday.

"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 Athletic Director Robert Scalise wrote in an e-mail to students.

The team had been ranked first in the Ivy League with just two games remaining in the season. It will not be able to participate in the NCAA tournament this year.

"We are beyond disappointed that our season has ended in this way, but we respect the decision made by our administration," Pieter S. Lehrer, the men's coach, said in a statement.

The 2012 document, which appears to have been part of a yearly tradition, was nine pages long. Sent to the entire team via email, it included evaluations of each and every individual player, some with paragraph-long assessments.

"She looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated," Mashable.com quoted one student as saying in his report.

The six women recruits written about in the 2012 "report", who all graduated in 2016, last week wrote a joint response to the Crimson's initial story.

"Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realise these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behaviour, and for more than four years have neglected to apologise until this week," the women wrote.

The women further expressed their loyalty to one another.

"This document attempts to pit us against one another, as if the judgment of a few men is sufficient to determine our worth," they wrote. "But, men, we know better than that."

--IANS

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