“Since Aug. 7, 2015, five anonymous reports have been received on the University's EthicsPoint reporting system in which Mike Ellis is a subject,” a statement released by Minnesota said. “Based on content, those reports have been submitted to the independent external counsel or other appropriate authority to investigate. The University asked Mr. Ellis to take voluntary time off, which he agreed to do, while the investigation of these matters was undertaken. Mr. Ellis has been cooperating fully.”
The investigation involving Ellis comes less than a month following the resignation of Minnesota AD Norwood Teague, after he admitted to sexual harassment incidents involving two university female employees in July. 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 investigation into the allegations against Teague revealed one prior complaint against Ellis in 2013, which tied him to an incident involving “pornographic images” on his phone. The images were reportedly shown to Teague and others during a bowl game in 2012. Minnesota said the complaint was investigated and closed without Ellis being disciplined.
Teague brought Ellis to Minnesota when he was hired by the school in 2012.
Minnesota spokesman Evan Lapiska told the Star Tribune that the nature of the five complaints against Ellis cannot yet be disclosed.
- Kayla Lombardo