Internal audit report damaging

Daily Editorial Board

On Tuesday, during a Board of Regents meeting, an internal audit reported grievous spending violations accruing to more than $200,000 during Norwood Teague’s short stay as the University of Minnesota’s athletics director. 
 
While misuse of funds was central to the findings, scant proof exists of a culture of sexual harassment, as some reports alleged earlier in the year. 
 
While Teague’s lawyer claims the findings absolve the disgraced former athletics director of some of the more heinous accusations against him, questions regarding troublesome spending habits now remain. 
 
Of the reported misused funds, around $51,000 was spent on alcohol for senior officials, as well as thousands of dollars on decor and parties. Classifying the spent money as “entertainment and gifts” enabled those involved to avoid tipping off University officials. 
 
While we are relieved to find out an environment of sexual harassment reportedly did not exist during Teague’s tenure, we are troubled by reports of massive misspending and the initial ambivalence with which University officials have reacted.
 
Chair of the Board of Regents Dean Johnson dismissed the misspent funds as only a very small percentage of total athletics spending ($107 million), while interim athletics director Beth Goetz vaguely claimed the new administration would be making changes. 
 
We are dissatisfied and appalled by these findings. It is unacceptable that University officials continue to point fingers and avoid responsibility. University president Eric Kaler will present his initial response on Friday. We urge him to discuss concrete reforms that will remedy an athletics department gone awry.