It is sadly not uncommon for a university confronted with scandal involving sexual misconduct by male athletes to care more about winning games and protecting school image than holding wrongdoers accountable and setting an example. So it was refreshing to watch Harvard University’s administration and wider community respond decisively to controversy involving its men’s soccer team. Let’s hope other colleges are paying attention.

The revelation that the team had, dating to 2012, ranked the school’s female soccer players individually by appearance and ideal sexual position – what it called “scouting reports” – led to the administration canceling the remainder of the team’s season, citing the team’s behavior and students’ failure to be forthcoming when first questioned.

Officials moved quickly after the Harvard Crimson last month uncovered the reports. A review by the Office of the General Counsel within a week found that production of the vulgar assessments did not end in 2012, as some team members initially tried to suggest.

Meanwhile, members of the women’s soccer team who had been so disrespectfully targeted wrote a powerful letter. “More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives,” the women wrote.

We would like to think that this letter is what finally got through to the men’s team, prompting it to issue what seemed a heartfelt apology.

No doubt there are those who would argue that the punishment was too harsh. No one was physically assaulted, and isn’t it the norm for young college men to comment on the physical appearance of members of the opposite sex? But it is long past time to draw the line on “boys being boys,” a defense that has helped enable the sexual harassment and assault of women.

The women on the soccer team said it best: “We will not tolerate anything less than respect for women.” Then they went on to win the Ivy League title.