This evening, this happened.
It’s a remarkably swift punishment — only 11 days after student reporter C. Ramsey Fahs broke the story in The Harvard Crimson.
I give the Harvard athletic administration credit for moving quickly on this. Compare this to the numerous allegations of sexual assault and rape against numerous intercollegiate football and men’s basketball teams at universities which seemingly bend the rules to allow these players to attend their colleges, then protect them when they get into trouble.
A precursor to the Harvard situation can be found in what happened at Duke University in 2006, when the men’s lacrosse team hired sex workers for an off-campus party. It took Duke University 16 days to cancel the men’s lacrosse season.
I think what gave Harvard the impetus to move quickly was the fact that the men’s soccer team was caught red-handed; the evidence was maintained in a Google Doc. Yep, right there in virtual space, where one could theoretically blunder into it with a few keystrokes. It reminds one of what has happened in many situations of coaches and teachers having inappropriate relationships with students. The police and court evidence are in the form of texts and phone calls, which remain on the record forever.
In the current national conversations over campus rape and sexual assault, Harvard, in essence, validated what Duke did a decade ago. It doesn’t matter that the three players accused of rape were found not guilty; the fact remained that the Duke men’s lacrosse team hired sex workers for a party, and the 2006 season was forfeited.