MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two women who say former University of Minnesota Athletics Director Norwood Teague sexually harassed them are breaking their silence.

They say they thought there would be others who he could have victimized, and they wanted to prevent it.

Teague resigned Friday after the women came forward, saying he was drunk at a university event and touched them inappropriately.

He also sent sexually explicit text messages to one of the women. Teague said he will reassess his career and life and seek professional help for alcohol abuse.

The two women are members of President Eric Kaler’s senior leadership team.

Ann Aronson and Erin Dady said they intended to keep their identities confidential.

“Unfortuntaley, Teague has sent an email inside and outside of the U of M community, disclosing that these incidents of unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical sexual misconduct occurred at a University of Minnesota senior leadership retreat,” the women wrote in a statement. “Our identities have been rumored and speculated about. We therefore decided to reveal our identities ourselves.”

They also asked for privacy.

The women went on to say sexual harassment is a predatory act and that having too much to drink does not excuse it.

“It’s a problem that continues to plague our institutions and our working lives despite programs and training designed to suppress it,” they wrote. “The only way to eliminate it is to call attention to it when you see it or experience it.”

In sharing their story, the women hope to make it easier for those who experience sexual harassment and assault to come forward.

Kaler issued a statement saying he applauds their courageousness for coming forward and trying to prevent this from happening to others.

Here is Aronson and Dady’s full statement:

We are the two women who filed the initial complaints of sexual harassment and assault by Norwood Teague at the University of Minnesota. We are members of President Kaler’s senior leadership team, and Teague was a colleague of ours on that team.

We felt compelled to report Teague’s behavior because it was frightening and wrong. We believed there would be others, and we felt a duty to help protect them.

When filing our complaints, we intended to keep our identities confidential. It is difficult to report sexual harassment and assault and endure a public examination that includes speculative news coverage. President Kaler strove to maintain our confidentiality and is taking decisive steps to review and investigate all sexual harassment allegations and the climate in Gopher athletics. He has made it clear that the University of Minnesota will not tolerate sexual harassment. For that we are very grateful.

Unfortunately, Teague has sent an email inside and outside of the U of M community, disclosing that these incidents of unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical sexual misconduct occurred at a University of Minnesota senior leadership retreat. With only a dozen women having attended the retreat, our identities have been rumored and speculated about. And some members of the media have sought to discover who we are.

We therefore decided to reveal our identities ourselves, today, in this public statement. We ask you to respect our privacy and the privacy of others who decide to take such action.

Sexual harassment is a predatory act. Having too much to drink does not excuse it. It’s a problem that continues to plague our institutions and our working lives despite programs and training designed to suppress it. The only way to eliminate it is to call attention to it when you see it or experience it.

In sharing our story today, we hope to make it easier for those who experience sexual harassment and assault to come forward. We stand with them.

 

Reg Chapman

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