Tufts Lacrosse Gets Benched For Harrassing the Volleyball Team
Members of the Tufts Men's Lacrosse team accused of harrassing Tufts and Smith women's volleyball players will sit out the first two games of their season, according to a letter to the editor in the Tufts Daily by Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students John Barker and Director of Athletics Bill Gehling. The investigation and punishment followed an op-ed in the school's paper describing the harrassment. Back in September, Rose Barrett wrote:
Instead of just cheering for the Tufts team, several guys began roster-calling Smith players. It quickly escalated to the point where they were screaming sexist and racist insults across the gym.
When a player squatted to receive a serve: “Look at those childbearing hips!”
Commenting on a player’s build: “Whoa, we got a big one!”
Every single time a particular Latina player made contact with the ball: “Hey Sonia — Sonia you suck!” “Sonia, you f–ked up!” “That was all your fault, Sonia! You’re gonna get deported!”
“Hey number five, I bet you have a tight butthole!”
“Number seven! Number seven, where’s your boyfriend?”
Charming! In today's paper, Barker and Gehling wrote:
The investigation concluded that unacceptable behavior did occur, and members of our men’s lacrosse team were responsible for that behavior.
All members of the lacrosse team who were in attendance at the game will be benched for two games during the upcoming season. While we do not seek to penalize team members who were not involved in the incident, it is the nature of team play that sometimes one’s fortunes are told by the behavior of others. Personal apologies by Tufts administrative leaders have been offered to the Smith administration, and members of the men’s lacrosse team who were in attendance at the game are also being asked to write letters of apology to both the Tufts and Smith coaches and their teams.
As BostInno's Lauren Landry notes, the spectre of Boston University's hockey team must have hung heavily over Tufts as they deliberated over the charges and the potential punishments. BU itself took much of the blame for fostering a culture of sexual entitlement among its hockey players, one of whom pled guilty to assault charges and another of whom had charges of rape brought against him then dropped for lack of evidence. Tufts, it seems, wanted no such part in looking permissive of its male athletes when it came to demeaning behavior toward women.