Football emails suggest pattern

Daily Editorial Board

An email between Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Director Kimberly Hewitt and former athletic director Norwood Teague reveals a number of allegations of sexual misconduct against members of the University of Minnesota football team. 
 
The email, which the Star Tribune obtained through a records request, dates from July 16. In it, Hewitt informs Teague that two sexual assault allegations, two sexual harassment allegations and an allegation of retaliation had surfaced against football players. 
 
In response to the news, University head football coach Jerry Kill told the Star Tribune he knew of one allegation, which had been handed to the administration and the police.
 
The University found one football player to have violated the school’s sexual harassment policy. Investigation into the allegation of retaliation found “concerning behavior” but no substantial evidence of any violations, according to the Star Tribune. Because the students who made the other allegations chose not to follow up, their complaints were not investigated. 
 
These allegations are only the most recent in a string of shameful incidents involving the University’s athletics department. It is obvious that not everyone in athletics is guilty of sexual misconduct — nevertheless, repeated incidents and allegations of inappropriate behavior reveal an ongoing problem. This is absolutely unacceptable in a University that should fight for gender equity and make campus a secure environment. 
 
In the hope that this latest incident will be the last of its kind, we encourage the athletics department to foster closer engagement opportunities with organizations like the Aurora Center.