After three years on the job, University of Minnesota Athletics Director Norwood Teague has resigned under sexual harassment allegations. The Gophers’ sports boss is walking away following the report of two recent incidents of sexual harassment against two other employees. Neither of the employees are students.
University President Eric Kaler announced the “you can’t fire me I quit” move in a Friday morning letter. Predictably, Kaler wrote that sexual harassment is super weak and has no place at the U. However, the school’s top dog did not elaborate on the details of the claims.
“To be clear, sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Minnesota and I sincerely regret that our employees experienced this behavior,” Kaler wrote.
Teague tells Kare 11 it was a booze-fueled incident stemming from a school function two weeks ago.
“At a recent University event, I had entirely too much to drink,” Teague tells the station. “I behaved badly towards nice people and sent truly inappropriate texts.”
Teague went on to say that he takes responsibility for his actions and is seeking help for his alcohol issues.
Billed as a savvy fundraiser, Teague came to the U in 2012 amid an ongoing push to fund new football and basketball practice facilities. While Jerry Kill was named the Gophers head football coach days before Teague’s arrival, he hired men’s hoops coach Richard Pitino.
Beth Goetz, deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, will hold down the AD spot in the interim. Kaler will hold a press conference at 12:15 p.m. Friday.
Update: The University has released several documents from their investigation, including a copy of text messages Teague sent to a woman. The exchange began while Teague and the woman were at a group dinner. The woman had offered to set bachelor Teague up with a friend, but he seemed more interested in her.
“He continued to tell me to check my phone but I wouldn’t,” the woman said, according to the documents. “He started to pinch my buttocks repeatedly as well as my waist. I tried to ignore him by turning away from him. He continued saying things to me but I ignored him. I felt trapped and frozen.”
The texts started out timidly flirtatious, with Teague texting “We r now connected!!! OK! No flirting in the process!!!” to which she replied “Really? No flirting?”
But things got progressively weird and gross, even after she texted “No!” and “Stop.” But we’ll, um, let you read it for yourself.
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