University of Minnesota athletics director Norwood Teague resigned Friday morning.
Teague, who served as the Gophers’ AD since 2012, submitted his resignation to university president Eric Kaler effective immediately after university employees reported that they were subject to sexual harassment by Teague.
Teague told KARE-TV that recently he sent inappropriate texts to university employees after having too much to drink. He also said he will seek treatment for his alcohol abuse.
Teague made this statement to KARE-TV on Friday morning:
“After careful and painful consideration, I've decided to leave the University of Minnesota.
“At a recent university event, I had entirely too much to drink. I behaved badly towards nice people and sent truly inappropriate texts. I'm embarrassed and I apologize to everyone involved. This neither reflects my true character or true character of this great, great university.
“I'm extremely proud of our accomplishments during my tenure here, and I don't want my personal life to impact the university's reputation. I've taken immediate steps to get help with my alcohol issues, and I take full responsibility for my actions.
“As I reflect on my time here at the University of Minnesota, it's been a wonderful experience serving our student athletes, serving the coaches and serving the university in general. This is a terrific place and we've accomplished great things together.
“The department is in great shape. Jerry Kill has the football program on the right path. Our women's and men's programs continue to thrive. Our grade point average is at an all-time high, and our fundraising has gone extremely well for the Athlete's Village, in raising $70 million in just under one year.
“I informed Dr. Kaler, who I believe is the best college president in the country, that I intend to step away and reassess my career and my life options.
“While I'm proud of these accomplishments, I want to take stock and take a look at the way I'm living my life and get professional help for my alcohol issues. I wish the university and all the Golden Gophers well, and I will be thinking of you always, and always pulling for you.”
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Kaler wrote this in a letter to university employees, which was published by the Star Tribune:
“I wanted you to be among the first to know that I have accepted the resignation of Gopher athletics director Norwood Teague, effective immediately. Norwood's resignation follows the report of two recent incidents of sexual harassment of two non-student university employees.
“To be clear, sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Minnesota, and I sincerely regret that our employees experienced this behavior. The university has an explicit policy and a strong code of conduct that articulates our standards. Ensuring a healthy learning, working and living environment for all in our university community is very important.
“My focus is to ensure the well being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors across the university system. I am also working closely with Gopher athletics to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Beth Goetz, deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, has agreed to step in as interim athletics director. I have great confidence in our athletics program, its current direction and its recent successes. We will have more information about the next steps for Gopher athletics within the next couple weeks. Thank you in advance for your patience and continued support for Gopher athletics during this time.”
Teague’s tenure in the Twin Cities was not long, though he was responsible for hiring head basketball coach Richard Pitino. Teague also showed support for head football coach Jerry Kill while Kill was battling epilepsy and suffering from in-game seizures. Many suggested Kill might need to give up his position, but Teague supported Kill, who has been seizure-free for more than a year and has led the Gophers football program to new heights.