MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague announced his resignation following reports of sexual harassment.
The university released some of the accounts from two women, who also work at the university, who reported being harassed by Teague at a recent university function. They say he was drunk and inappropriately touched both of them, while sending very graphic text messages to one of them.
“I behaved badly towards nice people and sent truly inappropriate texts,” Teague said. “I’m embarrassed and I apologize to everyone involved. This neither reflects my true character nor the true character of this great, great university.”
Some of the texts, which were distributed to the media, show Teague flirting with one of the employees, requesting to go out for drinks, joking about skinny dipping and admitting that he has a crush on her. Then the texts became very sexually explicit.
The person who received these texts also said that Teague asked her during a dinner if she would be “open to cheating” on her husband. She said he also pinched her on the buttocks.
A source told WCCO there were actually two separate incidents and that neither of the women worked in the Athletic Department.
“Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Minnesota and I sincerely regret that our employees experienced this behavior,” Kaler said. “The university has an explicit policy and a strong code of conduct that articulates our standards. Ensuring a healthy learning, working and living environment for all in our University community is very important.”
There will be no severance package offered to Teague.
Kaler said Beth Goetz, deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, would be serving as interim director of the athletics department following Teague’s departure. Teague brought Goetz with him when he left Virginia Commonwealth University for Minnesota in 2012.
“I have great confidence in our athletics program, its current direction and its recent successes,” Kaler said.
Teague Resignation: What Does It Mean For Gopher Athletics?
Teague was hired to replace Joel Maturi and was charged with reshaping a Golden Gophers athletic department that had fallen far behind the rest of the Big Ten in terms of facilities. Unlike Maturi, who tried to build a department that put resources into both the cash-generating sports like football and men’s basketball and the lower profile sports including track and wrestling, Teague came in with a clear plan to emphasize the most popular sports in the hopes of generating more revenue that could trickle down to the rest of the department.
He set about to raise nearly $200 million to bring new practice facilities for football and men’s basketball — a gargantuan task for a school that hasn’t had the type of sporting success that gets big donors to open their wallets. But Teague helped raise about $70 million in the first year of the plan, and the school had hoped to start breaking ground on new projects this fall.
Teague carved out a reputation as a basketball administrator in his previous six years as athletic director at VCU, where he teamed with coach Shaka Smart to bring the little-known program to national prominence. While at Minnesota, he fired Tubby Smith and hired Richard Pitino, the son of coaching legend Rick Pitino, to lead the men’s program. He also replaced Pam Borton with Marlene Stollings on the women’s side.
Teague said he planned to “reassess my career and life options. While I’m proud of my career accomplishments, I want to stop and take a look at my life and alcohol issues.”
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