Athletics director resigns after sexual harassment allegations

Teague stepped down after two University employees complained about inappropriate texts and physical behavior.

University President Eric Kaler responds to questions from the media at a press conference held in the Northrop Memorial Auditorium on July 7, 2015, regarding the resignation of now former University athletic director Norwood Teague. Teague made the decision to resign following allegations of sexual harassment from two non-student University employees.

Liam James Doyle

University President Eric Kaler responds to questions from the media at a press conference held in the Northrop Memorial Auditorium on July 7, 2015, regarding the resignation of now former University athletic director Norwood Teague. Teague made the decision to resign following allegations of sexual harassment from two non-student University employees.

Christopher Aadland

University of Minnesota Athletics Director Norwood Teague resigned following sexual harassment allegations, the school announced Friday.

University President Eric Kaler accepted Teague’s resignation Thursday, which took effect Friday. Kaler issued a statement Friday saying the alleged behavior, which included “unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical conduct,” occurred on one night and involved an intoxicated Teague harassing two non-student University employees.

The incident was the first time Teague was accused of sexual harassment while at the University, Kaler said at a press conference Friday.

“I believe his resignation is the appropriate response,” he said in the statement, noting that Teague will seek alcohol counseling and other assistance. ”Our senior leaders, in particular, must behave at the highest standards and set a positive example for our students and University community.”

Teague will not get a severance package beyond three months of health insurance coverage, but the University could still hire him as a consultant while the athletic department transitions. He would be paid his current hourly wage of $285 an hour, according to a letter Kaler sent to Teague on Thursday.

Teague resigned on his own, Kaler said at the press conference, but Kaler also said the school would have investigated the allegations if Teague hadn’t stepped down. Kaler said he isn’t aware of any criminal investigations of Teague’s actions.

On the night the two women were allegedly sexually harassed, Teague repeatedly sent explicit text messages to one woman, where he suggested they engage in sexual acts, according to University documents released Friday.

The same woman said Teague didn’t stop sending her “lewd and disgusting” text messages when she asked him to do so, according to partially redacted documents distributed to the media on Friday.

She said she felt “trapped and frozen” after Teague pinched her waist and buttocks repeatedly.  

Another woman who complained about Teague’s behavior that night also said she felt Teague acted inappropriately when he rubbed her back and poked her side.

Kaler declined to elaborate on the nature of the event, when it occurred and whether it was a University-sponsored event.

The resignation comes just as the University is about to begin construction of a $150 million upgrade to the school’s athletic facilities this fall. At the same time, the University’s athletic department is addressing Title IX concerns surrounding allegedly unfair treatment and access to facilities for women athletes.

Teague was 46 when he arrived at the University in 2012 after a six-year stint as Virginia Commonwealth University’s director of athletics. He replaced Joel Maturi.

During his University tenure, Teague hired a number of coaches, including men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino and women’s basketball head coach Marlene Stollings.

Deputy Athletics Director Beth Goetz will fill in as interim athletic director until administrators select a new director.

“It is disappointing and disheartening to learn about the events that led to [Teague’s resignation],” Board of Regents Chair Dean Johnson said in a statement Friday.