It is a story which represents the confluence of a number of social issues that have been bubbling under the surface the last couple of years: sexual harassment, privilege, misbehavior on college campuses, and the willingness of administration to cover them up.
Only this time, it’s at Harvard.
Monday, it was revealed through some amazing journalism and sleuthing by a student writer at my old college newspaper that members of the Harvard men’s soccer team have been rating first-year women’s soccer players for their attractiveness and potential for mating.
What’s disappointing is not just the fact that an atmosphere still exists on campus today, but the words of Harvard athletic director Bob Scalise. Here’s what he said to The Harvard Crimson when asked for comment:
This is not a media thing,. This is something that should be looked at by us in the administration to figure out what our steps are, but we shouldn’t do anything more with the media on this other than “Thank you for letting us know about this … We need to look at it.”
These are some of the most craven words I have ever heard from a person who should be protecting student athletes.
To dismiss this revelation, even though it is from four years ago, is ludicrous. We’re in an era when Brock Turner served half of a six-month jail sentence for sexual assault of a female student at Stanford, where football players at some Division I schools live apart from the rest of the student body, where other student-athletes are given money and other benefits contravening NCAA regulations, and where 11-year-old videotape is used to besmirch the reputation of a major-party nominee for President of the United States.
It’s a media thing, all right. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better, believe me.mm