CONCORD, N.H. — The president of Dartmouth College has apologized to his counterpart at Harvard University over profanity-laden taunts made by Big Green athletes to Harvard players during a squash match.
President Jim Yong Kim spoke to Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust on Tuesday when the two attended an Ivy League presidents' meeting in New York, a Dartmouth spokesman said Wednesday. Kim also has been trying to reach Harvard player Franklin Cohen and his parents, who complained that an insult directed at their son sounded like an anti-Semitic slur.
A group of about 10 Dartmouth students, including members of the school's soccer team, heckled Crimson players during the Dec. 2 match. Cohen's mother said her son was asked if he liked bagels, which she viewed as a reference to their Jewish surname. But the Dartmouth fans said the comment referred to the zero, or "bagel" on the scoreboard.
In an e-mail sent to students, faculty and staff Tuesday, Kim and other Dartmouth administrators expressed disappointment at the students' behavior.
"While we encourage students to vigorously support our athletes, we expect them to do so in a way that reflects our pride in those teams, not disrespect for others," wrote Kim, Acting Dean of the College Sylvia Spears and acting athletic director Bob Ceplikas.
The captain of the Dartmouth soccer team sent his own e-mail acknowledging that some team members made comments that "crossed the line of what is appropriate and acceptable." Dan Keat said the incident made players think more about sportsmanship and prompted them to start an initiative to discuss and publicize ways to foster "a passionate but respectful atmosphere" at athletic events.
Harvard spokesman John Longbrake said Faust appreciated Kim sharing his concerns.