Norwood Teague Out as Minnesota AD
While we’re warming up for the season — Saturday can’t come soon enough! — I’ll stop and take note of one more embarrassing Big Ten high-profile resignation. University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague, 49, resigned as a result of a drunken sexting scandal involving coworkers. Penn State doesn’t play Minnesota this year, so our girls are doubly safe.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s initial reaction to the revelation that Teague was sending naughty texts to babes was that he had been “overserved” alcohol. That implies that he thinks one must drink whatever one is served. Now, come on, who does Kaler think he is? Obama? He thinks the public is so stupid and naïve that they’ll swallow his puerile externalization and set him free? He should have fired the AD and sent him to AA.
No way, José!
However, stealth, secrecy, and arrogance is the way of academe, as you well know if you’ve read some of my other diatribe. They love to sweep their scandals under the rug, averting the hostile gaze of public and private funders. Protect the endowment and the research grants at all cost! Sexting? What’s that? Oh, someone got our AD drunk.
Since making that ludicrous initial hand-wave, akin to a Hillary Clintonian “What difference does it make?!” assertion, Kaler has backed off. It’s no wonder that he did, because people saw straight through his bullshit and got directly to the meat of a potential cover-up. His make-up statement reads as follows:
I regret that very poor choice of words because I cannot state strongly enough that Teague is entirely responsible for his behavior, and alcohol use is no excuse. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Minnesota, and his resignation was the appropriate result of his actions.”
I can feel his anal sphincter straining to constrict ever tighter as I sit here reading that. This is also predictable academic bullshit: When your initial parry fails, turn on your underling, yank your support, and do whatever else is necessary to save your own ass.
How utterly contemptuous, arrogant, and quintessentially academic of Kaler to attempt to bamboozle the public and then have to do a 180! What’s worse, his political correctness score just took a serious hit. We have to doubt his sanity, let alone his effectiveness as a leader of a modern, liberal university, when he fails to understand the implications of sexual harassment in today’s society to the extent that he thinks he can brush it aside as drunken revelry — as if public drunkenness of a university official isn’t bad enough without the sexting.
Two babes (this turkey is not generally regarded as a paragon of political correctness) from the administration came forward with accusations of Teague. One, Erin Dady, is special assistant to the president and the other, Ann Aronson, was a deputy chief of staff for Kaler. The incidents occurred at a senior leadership retreat in mid-July and were reported to Kaler the following day. Kaler met with Teague a day later. I suppose that’s when Kaler thought he could make it go away, but during the following week, the two babes filed detailed statements with the university’s all-powerful bastion of political correctness, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. [Cue cello.]
The babes were hesitant to file sexual harassment charges because of the publicity and public examination such charges might provoke. But Teague sent out an email to the university community and beyond in an attempt to blunt the blow of the sordid affair, fueling speculation as to who the harassees were. They felt obligated to come forward:
Unfortunately, Teague has sent an e-mail inside and outside of the U of M community, disclosing that these incidents of unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical sexual misconduct occurred at a University of Minnesota senior leadership retreat.
“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.
“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.”
Kaler responded to the women stepping forward with a brief statement, which I’m certain was issued through gritted teeth with the aforementioned sphincter slammed shut and locked.
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.”
Uh-huh, Kaler. Too late to make this all go away! Ahh, but I know what you can do! Hire a babe to replace Teague! Yeah, that’s the ticket! The universal academic panacea is sleeping with the enemy. Oops, wait — that would be sexual harassment. [Cue cello backed by bass trombone.]
Kaler named Beth Goetz as the interim athletic director for the University of Minnesota, giving her a 56% raise to $265,800. Teague’s salary was $400,000 plus up to $160,000 in other perks, obviously including booze, but not broads.
Her contract extends either to the end of the calendar year of until the university is able to complete a national search and install a new leader.
So, what do you want to bet that the new leader is either this broad or another one? Wonder whether Sandy Barbour has been contacted.
This should be interesting to watch.
Oh, by the way, Kaler said that Teague could be utilized as a consultant during the transition period, at a rate of $285 per hour. However, Goetz said Teague would be used rather sparingly.
I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when she expressed that sentiment to Kaler. It probably went something like this: “If that drunken fucking asshole even sets foot on this campus, I’ll have him escorted to the gates by the campus rent-a-cops, damnit! Don’t even think of having him consult with me.”
Fun times in Gopherland, that’s for sure!