Two administrators at the University of Minnesota whose accusations of sexual harassment by athletic director Norwood Teague led to his resignation publicly identified themselves Thursday, called Teague's behavior toward them “frightening and wrong” and blamed him for their identities being leaked to the public.
Erin Dady, a special assistant to Minnesota president Eric Kaler, and Ann Aronson, a deputy chief of staff in the president’s office, issued a statement through the university. Both women say that they wanted to keep their identities a secret, but Teague sent an email to his colleagues referring to the incident, which happened at a retreat for university staff members.
“With only a dozen women having attended the retreat, our identities have been rumored and speculated about. And some members of the media have sought to discover who we are," the statement said.
“We therefore decided to reveal our identities ourselves, today, in this public statement. We ask you to respect our privacy and the privacy of others who decide to take such action.”
The women also called Teague's harassment "a predatory act."
Teague resigned from Minnesota last week. The school released transcripts of sexual harassment complaints against him by the women. Teague was accused of groping both women at the retreat and sending sexually explicit text messages to one of them.
Earlier this week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune also published a first-person story by men’s basketball beat reporter Amelia Rayno, who 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.
The university released a timeline of events in the sexual harassment incidents involving Dady and Aronson, which started July 15 on a retreat for senior leadership. The women say they were harassed that day and reported it to President Kaler’s office the next day.
Kaler spoke to Teague on July 17, and the two women were interviewed by the school’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The school hired an outside investigator the following week to conduct an investigation.
Teague submitted his resignation on Aug. 6 and it was announced the next day.
“I applaud the courageousness of Ann and Erin in this very difficult situation. They have placed their own personal privacy at risk to prevent this from happening to others. They and anyone who bravely faced sexual harassment and assault should be supported and considered role models by all of us,” Kaler said.
- Scooby Axson