U of M to investigate Teague's leadership of Gopher athletics

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The fallout continues for the University of Minnesota's Athletic Department following complaints of sexual harassment against former athletic director Norwood Teague.

The U of M's board of Regents has ordered an independent investigation of Teague's leadership of the athletics department, according to KSTP, Regents President Dean Johnson told the television station the investigation will be headed up by an outside firm and will take 3-6 months.

The audit will investigate several areas of the athletic department including compliance, expense reports, the culture, hiring practices and everything in between.

"We met with the president this morning and the president has agreed to conduct an internal and external audit of the Department of Athletics at the University of Minnesota, and second of all to hire an employment attorney to look at the culture and employment practices of the Department of Athletics."

One area the audit will look at is Teague's expenses. According to the Pioneer Press, university records show Teague's expenses from July 2014 to current totaled $26,163.94.

The expenses range from treating donors to golf outings, limo rides and expensive dinners. But the report notes not all of the expenses were fully reimbursed by the university.

Teague resigned suddenly on Friday, after admitting to sending inappropriate text messages to two non-student university employees.

Then Sunday evening, Star Tribune Gophers' beat writer Amelia Rayno came forward with her own account of harassment by Teague. Rayno's article prompted university president Eric Kaler to issue a statement publicly apologizing for Teague's "deplorable behavior," while calling for anyone with any similar accusations against Teague to come forward.

In his statement of resignation, Teague apologized for his actions and promised to get help for his issues with alcohol, which he said contributed to the incident that caused him to step down.

But complaints against Teague date back to 2012, according to the Star Tribune. The newspaper reports both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Minnesota have settled gender discrimination lawsuits against Teague.

According to the report, the first was settled by VCU for $125,000 with its former women's basketball coach Beth Cunningham.

The second claim, according to the newspaper, was filed by Regina Sullivan, the Gophers' senior associate athletic director, after she was fired. She claimed Teague "expected a woman in my position to take a passive role and defer to men's opinions" on Title IX issues.

The report says university settled with Sullivan for $175,000 in April of 2014.

Johnson told KSTP the purpose of the investigation is to restore confidence in the athletics department.

“We do not want to sweep anything under the rug. We want to be transparent and have full disclosure to the people of this state.”

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