JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota’s athletic director resigned on Friday, admitting he drank too much at a recent event and sent “inappropriate texts” to colleagues that were reported as sexual harassment.
Norwood Teague, who held the job for three years, issued a statement through television station KARE 11 in which he said he drank too much on the night in question and is seeking treatment for his alcohol problems.
“I behaved badly towards nice people and sent truly inappropriate texts,” Teague said. “I’m embarrassed and I apologize to everyone involved. This neither reflects my true character or the true character of this great, great university.”
The school’s president, Eric Kaler, said in an email to staff that Teague’s resignation followed reports that he had sexually harassed two non-student school employees. He didn’t go into detail about the nature of the harassment.
“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,” Kaler wrote.
Beth Goetz, deputy athletic director and senior woman administrator, has been named interim athletic director. Teague brought Goetz with him when he left Virginia Commonwealth University for Minnesota in 2012.
Teague was hired to replace Joel Maturi and was charged with reshaping a Golden Gophers athletic department that had fallen far behind the rest of the Big Ten in terms of facilities. Unlike Maturi, who tried to build a department that put resources into both the cash-generating sports like football and men’s basketball and the lower profile sports including track and wrestling, Teague came in with a clear plan to emphasize the most popular sports in the hopes of generating more revenue that could trickle down to the rest of the department.
He set about to raise nearly $200 million to bring new practice facilities for football and men’s basketball — a gargantuan task for a school that hasn’t had the type of sporting success that gets big donors to open their wallets. But Teague helped raise about $70 million in the first year of the plan, and the school had hoped to start breaking ground on new projects this fall.
Teague carved out a reputation as a basketball administrator in his previous six years as athletic director at VCU, where he teamed with coach Shaka Smart to bring the little-known program to national prominence. While at Minnesota, he fired Tubby Smith and hired Richard Pitino, the son of coaching legend Rick Pitino, to lead the men’s program. He also replaced Pam Borton with Marlene Stollings on the women’s side.
Teague said he planned to “reassess my career and life options. While I’m proud of my career accomplishments, I want to stop and take a look at my life and alcohol issues.”
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