After third harassment report, U of M asks others to come forward
MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota responded Monday to a third woman’s claims that she was sexually harassed by former athletic director Norwood Teague by asking that anyone else with similar allegations come forward.
President Eric Kaler said in a statement the university takes such allegations seriously and wants to know if there are further complaints.
Teague resigned Friday after the university released transcripts of sexual harassment complaints against him by two female employees. Kaler said at the time that the reports were the only ones the university had received and that no further investigation was planned.
However, Star Tribune basketball reporter Amelia Rayno wrote a firsthand account published Monday that alleged Teague sexually harassed her over a period of several months.
Rayno wrote that Teague groped her at a bar and followed her into a cab before sending suggestive text messages to her in 2013. Rayno said she met with human resources at the Star Tribune but ultimately decided not to bring the issue to university officials for fear of compromising her job as the Gophers men’s basketball reporter.
When Teague announced his resignation Friday, he acknowledged what he called "inappropriate" behavior and said he would seek treatment for his issues with alcohol. He didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday from The Associated Press about the Star Tribune report.
In the university reports, Teague was accused of sexually harassing two non-student employees on an unspecified night this year, drunkenly groping them both at a gathering of school officials and employees, and sending sexually explicit text messages to one of the women.
Kaler characterized the behavior as that of one man and not indicative of the entire athletic department. He also said Friday that the reports were the first indication that Teague had mistreated women.
"This is the first report of sexual harassment that the university received on Norwood Teague," he said flatly.
In his statement Monday in response to the Star Tribune report, Kaler said, "We will look into whether any university employees who have a responsibility to report these kinds of concerns were aware of the incidents."
Beth Goetz, deputy athletic director, has been named interim athletic director.