The Harvard athletics department placed the men’s cross country team on “athletic probation” after university lawyers found an online spreadsheet made by the 2014 team containing “crude and sexualized statements” about members of the women’s team.
The Harvard Crimson reported the probation on Friday night. The probation does not affect the team’s competition schedule, but will require team members to attend training seminars with Title IX coordinators and speak with an outside consultant about team culture.
On Nov. 5, men’s cross country team captain Brandon E. Price brought a spreadsheet made by the current team to the attention of head coach Jason Saretsky. The spreadsheets contained guesses about which members of the women’s team would invite certain men to an annual dance between the teams. Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel, which carried out the review, found that the 2016 spreadsheet did not include “personally denigrating entries aimed at members of the women’s team.”
Last month, Harvard canceled the remainder of its men’s soccer team’s season after finding the team participated in an annual tradition of creating lewd “scouting reports” for female soccer players. While Harvard Director of Athletics Bob Scalise wrote that the men’s soccer team was not “forthcoming” during the university’s investigation, he commended members of the men’s cross country team for being cooperative throughout the review and showing accountability for shortcomings in the team’s culture in an email sent to student-athletes.
The Harvard athletics department plans to bring in an expert to assess the culture of its programs and identify positive values shared between all teams.