Ongoing investigation results in Minnesota athletics administrator taking leave of absence

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The last month has not been a smooth one for the Minnesota athletics department. As a result of two department employees filing complaints of sexual harassment against him, athletic director Norwood Teague stepped down August 6. And on Thursday it was reported by the Star-Tribune that the school’s ongoing investigation has led to an athletic department official agreeing to a request that he take a leave of absence from his position until the investigation is completed.

Associate athletic director Mike Ellis, who also worked with Teague at VCU, has had five complaints anonymously filed against him per the report. One of those complaints centered on the allegation that he’d shared pornographic images on his cell phone with other staff members while at the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in 2012.

The August complaint says that when a senior member of the U’s athletics department and a member of the Gopher Radio Network Team “made it known they were offended by the graphic images, that person was immediately shunned by the new senior administrators,” including Teague and Ellis. “A few days after returning from the bowl trip, this athletic administrator was shockingly fired for ‘reorganization purposes’ a move that very much troubled the rest of the athletic staff.”

Within the last month Minnesota’s had to let go two senior administrators in its athletic department, which does no favors to the coaches and other employees who remain on board. As a result, they’ll all have to deal with the uncertainty while the school continues its investigation into the actions of Teague and Ellis.