‘U’ Athletic Official Suspended Amid Sex Harassment Accusations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A University of Minnesota athletics administrator accused of sexual harassment will be suspended without pay for two weeks and demoted to resolve the latest black eye for the department.

The university on Thursday released findings of an internal investigation of Randy Handel, the associate athletic director of development, after a female subordinate said he repeatedly hugged, touched and made inappropriate comments to her.

Handel maintained he had no sexual intent toward the subordinate.

Handel’s unpaid suspension starts Monday. He’ll also be required to participate in sexual harassment training.

Handel, a Wisconsin native, joined Minnesota in 2010 as a major gift development officer and was paid $145,000 in 2015. He led fundraising for Siebert Field, the university’s baseball field.

In 2015, athletics director Norwood Teague resigned after two high-ranking administrators said he sexually harassed them at a senior leadership retreat. Teague acknowledged improper behavior. His deputy, Mike Ellis, resigned months later after unspecified complaints against him.

An external review found no fault with the “general climate” surrounding the issue of sexual harassment in the sports department, but it recommended that the university improve its response to sexual harassment and strengthen hiring procedures. At the time, Board of Regents Chairman Dean Johnson said the university would take action to correct any problems.

Last year, 10 football players were suspended after the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action department found they violated the student conduct code. The ruling followed a September incident in which a woman alleged she was pressured into having sex with multiple football players.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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