MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The University of Minnesota says athletics director Norwood Teague was not forced to resign, but given what was laid out Friday, they almost certainly could have fired him for cause. Two incidents of sexual harassment involving non-student university employees took place during a night of what appears to be excessive drinking on the U of M’s tab -- something the Fox 9 Investigators had already begun looking into.
Teague admits to making sexual advances on two university staffers on the same evening. When or where, the university won't say, to protect the victims.
After accepting Teague’s resignation at a Friday afternoon press conference, the university dropped the bombshell -- statements from the two women and a series of lurid text messages from Teague.
Timeline and texts
Before dinner, Teague had two martinis and a glass of wine, but was not noticeably drunk, they say. Then he started pinching one woman's buttocks and sending her text messages during dinner. She told him she'd set him up with a friend, but he was interested in her.
Teague: We are now connected. Ok! No flirting in the process!!
Victim: Really? No flirting?
Teague: Can I clone u? Sorry if that's too forward.
Victim: Not inappropriate at all. I think you're fabulous.
Then it quickly turns. He asks her about a skinny dip. She says no, and asks him to stop. Soon, in fairly vulgar language, Teague’s asking to perform oral sex. During the same dinner, another woman says Teague cornered her at a table, rubbing her back, asking why she hasn't married her boyfriend.
The Fox 9 Investigators received copies of Norwood Teague’s travel and business expenses. The receipts show booze was often part of his business meetings with staff. In Orlando last December, a $1,000 meal was reported for a few unidentified donors, with $470 in alcohol. Teague wasn't even there, but still picked up the tab.
Norwood Teague statement
"After careful consideration, I have decided to leave the University of Minnesota. At a recent university event, I had entirely too much to drink. I behaved badly toward nice people, including sending truly inappropriate texts. I am embarrassed and apologize for my offensive behavior.
“This behavior neither reflects my true character nor the values of the University. I am extremely proud of our accomplishments during my tenure here, and I don’t want my personal life to impact the university’s reputation. I have taken immediate steps to obtain help with my alcohol issues, and I take full responsibility for my actions.
“As I reflect on my time at the University of Minnesota, it has been a wonderful three years serving our student-athletes, coaches, and the university. This is a great place with terrific people, and together we have accomplished a great deal.
“I have informed Dr. Kaler, who I believe is the best university leader in the country, that I need to step away to reassess my career and life options. While I am proud of the accomplishments, I want to take stock of my life and get professional help for my alcohol issues. I wish the university and all Golden Gophers well, and I will be pulling for you always."