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Minnesota staffers sexually harassed by former AD issue statement

Minnesota Kill Football

Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague speaks during a news conference Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Minneapolis. Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill has taken an open-ended leave of absence from the team to focus on treatment and management of his epilepsy. The university announced the decision Thursday, before a news conference with Teague and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who will be acting coach. (AP Photo/Star Tribune, Carlos Gonzalez) ST. PAUL OUT MINNEAPOLIS-AREA TV OUT MAGS OUT


Less than a week after Norwood Teague stepped down as athletic director at the University of Minnesota following allegations of sexual harassment from two female employees at the school, the women in question stepped forward Thursday. This is the latest development regarding Teague, whose past actions led to $300,000 in settlements paid by Minnesota and VCU, where he was athletic director from 2007 to 2012.

Erin Dady and Ann Aronson issued a statement on the matter, citing Teague’s internal and external emails on the allegations as the reason for their move to step forward.

“We are the two women who filed the initial complaints of sexual harassment and assault by Norwood Teague at the University of Minnesota,” the statement read. “We are members of President Kaler’s senior leadership team, and Teague was a colleague of ours on that team.

“We felt compelled to report Teague’s behavior because it was frightening and wrong. We believed there would be others, and we felt a duty to help protect them.

“When filing our complaints, we intended to keep our identities confidential. It is difficult to report sexual harassment and assault and endure a public examination that includes speculative news coverage,” the statement continued. “President Kaler strove to maintain our confidentiality and is taking decisive steps to review and investigate all sexual harassment allegations and the climate in Gopher athletics. He has made it clear that the University of Minnesota will not tolerate sexual harassment. For that we are very grateful.

“Unfortunately, Teague has sent an email inside and outside of the U of M community, disclosing that these incidents of unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical sexual misconduct occurred at a University of Minnesota senior leadership retreat. With only a dozen women having attended the retreat, our identities have been rumored and speculated about. And some members of the media have sought to discover who we are.

“We therefore decided to reveal our identities ourselves, today, in a public statement. We ask you to respect our privacy and the privacy of others who decide to take such action.

“Sexual harassment is a predatory act. Having too much to drink does not excuse it. It’s a problem that continues to plague our institutions and our working lives despite programs and training designed to suppress it. The only way to eliminate it is to call attention to it when you see it or experience it.

“In sharing our story today, we hope to make it easier for those who experience sexual harassment and assault to come forward. We stand with them.”

Earlier this week, a Minnesota basketball beat reporter issued a statement that Teague had sexually harassed her as well. At the time of Teague’s resignation, the school stated that he could be retained as a consultant as large-scale facilities upgrades are begun.