Big Ten

Minnesota AD Norwood Teague resigns amid sexual harassment reports


Minnesota AD Norwood Teague resigns amid sexual harassment reports

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.

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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.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.