You can fool some of the people some of the time, but sooner or later character flaws expose you to all. Norwood Teague resigned Friday morning August 7 under fire for several incidents of sexual harassment.
Apparently two reports of sexual harassment were levied at Teague. University President Eric Kaler, after confirming the charges, told Teague of the reports and notified him he was out as athletic director at Minnesota.
This news is obviously a major blow to the University of Minnesota. Several weeks ago, Teague was notified of issues in the Women’s Athletic program related to unfair treatment. In fact when I was alerted I tweeted the news: “Norwood Teague-Feds investigating unfair U of M treatment in Women’s program-Teague gives Richard Pitino a $400,000 raise-Teague is not cutting it.”
So clearly there’s been smoke and the university has been aware of it. When I asked a University Athletic Department employee about the news on Teague, the source said, “He made a mistake.” The Star Tribune has a beat reporter Teague sexually harassed several times as far back as December of 2013. Amelia Rayno reported the details a while ago.
This is extremely damaging to the B1G Conference, the NCAA, the community, the athletic program, and the image of the University of Minnesota. It is particularly damaging to those Teague was leading and guiding in the raising of millions of dollars from private investors who were considering and on the fence to help secure building a practice facility and upgrading the entire program’s facilities. As much as $75 million is in limbo from those who were working through Teague and his staff of fundraisers that include Lou Nanne.
I never endorsed the hiring of Teague from day one, particularly after his rush to judgement in firing then-basketball coach Tubby Smith following an NCAA tournament appearance and victory over UCLA three years ago. He hired Pitino to succeed Smith, but only after failing to secure a quality veteran head coach. Pitino is young; now in his third year as coach he has zero NCAA appearances, and last year the program floundered.
Teague also chased longtime athletic department veteran Dr. Leo Lewis and even canceled a successful U of M minority student athlete community support group activity with many local business people of color who were networking with the many male and female athletes on direction for future career opportunities. That gave me the feeling then that Teague was biased or had a hidden agenda. As it turns out, I was right. He clearly was a sexual predator disguised as the leader of University of Minnesota athletics.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.