The Latest: Attorney says probe clears ex-Minnesota director
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The latest news on an investigation and audit of the University of Minnesota athletics department (all times local):
The lawyer for Norwood Teague says an investigation into the former Minnesota athletic director's conduct ''largely clears'' Teague and the university.
Attorney Bill O'Brien says Tuesday's report should end ''months of false speculation'' about Teague's conduct that O'Brien describes as ranging from ''the untrue to the absurd.'' Teague resigned after two university administrators reported he sexually harassed them. He acknowledged improper behavior.
A separate report questioned expenses and financial deals in the department under Teague. O'Brien says those findings ''are largely about the culture surrounding big-time athletics.''
The outside review found no fault with the school in its screening of Teague when he was hired in 2012, and also said school officials knew nothing about inappropriate behavior before two administrators accused him of harassment.
Investigators who examined the climate of the University of Minnesota athletics department amid claims of sexual harassment say there wasn't evidence of a systemic problem.
Lead investigator Karen Schanfield told the Board of Regents on Tuesday that problems brought to light by accusations against former department director Norwood Teague were ''isolated episodes.''
Schanfield detailed the external review commissioned by the university after Teague resigned in August. Teague declined to be interviewed by investigators about his conduct.
Regents Chairman Dean Johnson says the board will digest the report before taking any action. But he says, ''where there are problems, we will fix them.''
A University of Minnesota financial audit has questioned expenses and deals made under former athletic director Norwood Teague.
During his tenure, the athletics department administrators had $386,000 worth of travel, meal and entertainment expenses. Some are still under review.
Alcohol purchases, holiday parties, luxury hotel stays, private car services, private plane charters and first-class airline tickets came under scrutiny. The department was urged to seek reimbursement of expenses that shouldn't have been allowed, though the audit doesn't specify who would have to pay money back.
In response to the audit, interim athletic director Beth Goetz says her staff is working on documenting and seeking reimbursement for questionable expenses. She noted all current employees have completed repayment.
Auditors also took issue with an agreement the athletics department made under Teague to provide no-rent use of TCF Bank Stadium for a concert during the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
An attorney for former Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague says the release of an investigative report marks the end of ''an extended feeding frenzy'' involving Teague.
But attorney Bill O'Brien says he and Teague need time to review the more than 700 pages in the report before commenting.
The university released the outside review on Tuesday. The school has come under criticism since Teague resigned abruptly in August after being accused of sexual harassment, in part for failing to find a gender discrimination complaint in his past.
The review found no fault with the school in its screening of Teague, and also said school officials knew nothing about inappropriate behavior before two administrators accused him of harassment.
An investigation of the University of Minnesota athletics department has found that school officials had no knowledge of inappropriate conduct by athletic director Norwood Teague before he was accused of sexual harassment.
Teague resigned abruptly in August after two high-ranking university administrators reported he sexually harassed them at a senior leadership retreat weeks earlier. His deputy, Mike Ellis, stepped down in November after being placed on leave in September when complaints against him surfaced.
The external review released Tuesday also doesn't find fault with the university's vetting of Teague before he was hired. The university had been criticized for missing a gender discrimination complaint against Teague when he worked at Virginia Commonwealth.
The review does find that some Minnesota athletes lied to investigators trying to follow up on a sexual harassment complaint.
But the review found the general climate in the athletics department ''does not condone or tolerate sexual harassment.''