Tuesday August 11th, 2015

Former Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague was the subject of two gender discrimination settlements at two different university athletic departments dating back to 2012, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

According to the report, the complaints were filed by employees at Minnesota and Virginia Commonwealth University, where Teague was the AD before being hired by Minnesota in 2012.

The Star Tribune obtained records which shows the complaints made by employees resulted in $300,000 in settlements.

Teague resigned from Minnesota last week after the school released transcripts of sexual harassment complaints against him by two non-student female employees. Teague was accused of groping both women at a gathering of school officials and employees and sending sexually explicit text messages to one of them.

The Star Tribune also published a firsthand account of men’s basketball beat reporter Amelia Rayno that alleged Teague sexually harassed her over a period of several months, including groping her at a bar and sending her suggestive text messages in 2013.

One 2012 complaint against Teague came from VCU women's basketball coach Beth Cunningham, but that complaint was not filed in the records the newspaper received. Teague left VCU in April 2012 to take the Minnesota job and records show that a settlement for $125,000 was paid to Cunningham that July. Cunningham left the school in May 2012 and is now an an assistant coach at Notre Dame.

Regina Sullivan, a senior associate athletic director, also filed a complaint against Minnesota in March 2013 after she was fired in October 2012. Sullivan said that Teague “expected a woman in my position to take a passive role and defer to men’s opinions” on issues of Title IX compliance. Sullivan settled her case with Minnesota for $175,000 in April 2014, according to records.

U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating the University of Minnesota over Title IX compliance after an anonymous complaint about women’s sports programs at the university.

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds.

Schools that violate the law and refuse to address the problems identified could lose federal funding or be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further action.

- Scooby Axson

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