Schools paid $300K in discrimination settlements against Norwood Teague

Recently resigned University of Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague was the subject of gender discrimination settlements dating to 2012 and spanning incidents in two university athletic departments, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report.

Records obtained by the Star Tribune reveal complaints of gender discrimination by co-workers against Teague that resulted in settlements totaling $300,000.

One complaint, lodged in 2012, stems from Teague's time as athletic director at Virginia Commonwealth University. The school's women's basketball coach, Beth Cunningham, filed a complaint for a reason that was not disclosed in the records. After Teague left for Minnesota in April 2012, a settlement for $125,000 was reached with Cunningham in July of that year, the records show.

Teague, who stepped down as Minnesota's AD on Friday amid allegations of sexual harassment by two university employees, was the target of a second gender discrimination complaint at his new post less than a year later. Regina Sullivan, a senior associate athletic director, filed a complaint against the University of Minnesota in March 2013 after she was fired in October 2012.

Teague, Sullivan said, "expected a woman in my position to take a passive role and defer to men's opinions" regarding Title IX issues, the Star Tribune report read. Title IX is the law that prohibits sex discrimination in any school that receives federal funds.

Sullivan's complaint alleges that Teague fired her because she questioned his "commitment to Title IX."

The university reached a settlement with Sullivan in April 2014 for $175,000, the records show.

University of Minnesota spokesman Evan Lapiska said the school has not received any complaint about Teague beyond the two and stressed that Sullivan's claim was against the school, not its former athletic director.

After responding to a third woman's claim of sexual harassment, university president Eric Kaler asked Monday that any other complainants come forward so the school can address the claims.

Minneapolis Star Tribune basketball reporter Amelia Rayno wrote a firsthand account published late Sunday night, however, that alleged Teague sexually harassed her over a period of several months.

In his statement Monday in response to the Star Tribune report, Kaler said, "We will look into whether any university employees who have a responsibility to report these kinds of concerns were aware of the incidents."

Rayno wrote that Teague groped her at a bar and followed her into a cab before sending suggestive text messages to her in 2013. Rayno said she met with human resources at the Star Tribune but ultimately decided not to bring the issue to university officials for fear of compromising her job as the Gophers men's basketball reporter.

When Teague announced his resignation Friday, he acknowledged what he called "inappropriate" behavior and said he would seek treatment for his issues with alcohol. He didn't respond to requests for comment Monday from The Associated Press about the Star Tribune report.

In the university reports, Teague was accused of sexually harassing two non-student employees on an unspecified night this year, drunkenly groping them both at a gathering of school officials and employees and sending sexually explicit text messages to one of the women.

Kaler characterized the behavior as that of one man and not indicative of the entire athletic department. He also said Friday that the reports were the first indication that Teague had mistreated women.

"This is the first report of sexual harassment that the university received on Norwood Teague," he said flatly.

Beth Goetz, deputy athletic director, is acting as interim athletic director.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.