Report: Former Gopher athletic director is a repeat offender

Reading through the texts that recently “resigned” University of Minnesota athletics director Norwood Teague sent to a woman at a university event revealed that despite what he said when reading a statement last Friday morning, alcohol isn’t his main problem — character is.

Star Tribune reporter Amelia Rayno, who covers the Gophers, has come forward to say that she was sexually harassed by Teague.

She writes today of an encounter with Teague in December 2013…

So I agreed to have that drink. But this December night was different. Teague asked me about my longtime boyfriend, as he often did. My mistake was acknowledging that we had just broken up. The switch flipped. Suddenly, in a public and crowded bar, Teague tried to throw his arm around me. He poked my side. He pinched my hip. He grabbed at me. Stunned and mortified, I swatted his advances and firmly told him to stop. He didn’t.

“Don’t deny,” he said, “our chemistry.”

I told him that he was drastically off base, that my only intention in being there was as a reporter – to which he replied: “You’re all strictly business? Nothing else?”

I walked out. He followed me. I hailed a cab. He followed me in, grabbing at my arm and scooting closer and closer in the dark back cabin until I was pressed against the door. I told him to stop. I told him it was not OK. He laughed. When I reached my apartment, I vomited.

It got worse after that, she writes.

But here’s the part that symbolizes why people like Teague needed to be fired — or resign, if you will.

A journalism colleague told her to downplay things, and she didn’t make a formal complaint to the university out of fear of what it would do to her.

But as I reread his texts to me and the ones that were released Friday, I regret not doing more initially, especially now that I know Teague continued to harass women. At the time, I was still fairly green on my first real beat and, frankly, unprepared for something like this. I wasn’t bold enough in my reaction. Had all of this developed now, I might have handled it differently. That’s why, in light of the brave women who did step up, I decided to put my name behind my story in hopes that it will never happen again.

In a statement to the Star Tribune, U of M president Eric Kaler said he was disappointed to learn of an additional report of sexual harassment by Teague, who did not respond to a request for comment.

The president had suggested on Friday that Teague had one bad night.

Kaler says the university will now investigate whether there are other women who’ve kept quiet about Teague’s character. More importantly, the U will investigate who else knew about the harassment, said nothing, and covered for him.

Meanwhile, at the Star Tribune, another female reporter called on colleagues to stand against sexual harassment of people who are trying to do their jobs.

But she didn’t get support from longtime KFAN sports host Paul Allen, who caused a storm when he tweeted a question, the answer to which was already in the story.

Allen has been in the sports game for a long time, so he knows that sportswriters need to maintain access to the people they cover.

But he blamed Twitter, and apologized to those he offended, which should have been everybody.

Meanwhile, many male sportswriters in town are primarily concerned that Teague’s assaults will hurt the chance for the U of M to compete in the Big 10.