Would Norwood Teague have done the things he did if he had been sober (“Harassing texts, groping cost Teague his job at U,” Aug. 8)? The University of Minnesota seems to have made the proper punishment decision for the behavior. If drinking on the job shows up, it is a pretty good indication there is a problem. If so, where were the people who cared about Teague? Was it the no-talk rule or that he had to hit bottom before he got help that stopped Teague from getting help? Maybe it was another deterrent. A famous doctor gave a speech decades ago at the Johnson Institute about four deterrents to recovery: some lawyers who try to reduce a DWI to reckless driving; some physicians and psychiatrists who prescribe medication that makes things worse; some psychiatrists and psychologists who search for what caused out-of-control drinking, and some preachers who say you must get to God when spirituality is the first thing you lose in the progression of dependency and the last thing to come back. Minnesota has the best treatment options in the country. My hope is he gets good help and good recovery.
C.R. Moen Jr., Bloomington
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Long ago in the fall of my first year of business school, I was harassed by one of my professors. I found ways to avert and avoid the professor, and I decided not to file a complaint about him. I didn’t want his actions to take up undue space in my mind or career or life. Twenty-eight years later, I regret that choice — I suspect that he moved on to harass other female students.
After reading Star Tribune reporter Amelia Rayno’s Aug. 10 article “Their Teague story is my Teague story,” I was impressed by her bravery. Rayno lists the concerns that prevented her from taking action against Teague last year, which included fear of disrupting her career and fear of “the editorializing and victim-shaming that goes on in such circumstances.” Good for her for overcoming those concerns now.
When a man in a position of power harasses a woman, the woman frequently chooses not to report the behavior because she doesn’t want to navigate her way through an uncertain process that will require time, thick skin, determination and bravery. As a community, let’s admire and respect women who come forward. Let’s support the two women at the University of Minnesota who reported Teague’s actions, and let’s support Rayno for choosing to write her story.
Katherine Vaaler, Golden Valley
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I felt very sad after I read Rayno’s article about her abuse at the hands of Teague, a true monster if there ever was one. No one should ever have to suffer like this just for doing their job.
This is a very important story. I have to wonder why in the world this article wasn’t on the front page of the newspaper. A lot of women are being sexually harassed at work, and most of them don’t read the sports pages. They deserve to know that they are not alone in their suffering.
Rayno deserves a lot of credit for being brave enough to write this story, and the Star Tribune deserves credit for publishing it, but I now suspect that her superiors at the paper wish that they had reported Teague’s abusive behavior directly to his bosses themselves rather than leaving it up to a vulnerable employee to decide.
Robert H. Oneill, Little Falls
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A few years ago there was an opening for University of Minnesota athletic director, and the regents went out of the state and chose McKinley Boston over a highly regarded Minnesotan, Jerry Noyce. Now we have a different type of situation with the sudden resignation of Norwood Teague, and we have to choose a person who can bring some credibility to the program — and we have another Minnesotan who many of us think would be the best choice: Dave Mona. Dave has run a business, knows everyone in the civic and business worlds, and is one of the most knowledgeable and respected sportspersons many of us have ever known. Let’s push the regents to make a good decision and hire a local person who is one of the most dedicated Gopher backers many of us have met. He has the credentials to bring the program back to the respectability it deserves.
Dave knows the ins and outs of the Gopher program, and I think he could walk in and take over in a minute without missing a beat. He brings a knowledge and familiarity that a newcomer would take months to achieve. As a big, big plus, when you get Dave, you get even a bigger bonus — his wife, Linda, who is one of the greatest Gopher backers and an all-around good person who, along with Dave, would make a dynamic team.
Come on, regents, don’t be spending some big bucks for a search committee when we have a homegrown couple right here who are the best choice for this job and have instant credibility.
Mike and Jan Nelson, Edina
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It would be a bold move if the U promoted interim athletic director Beth Goetz to be the permanent AD. She had a successful tenure at Butler University and has been very successful here. All of the coaches she works with have praised her work ethic and get along with her. Heck, she even attended football practice, something Teague rarely did. Make the right and courageous decision. Promote Beth Goetz.
David L. King, Minneapolis
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In the aftermath of Teague’s resignation and admission of the disturbing and harmful sexual harassment of two female university employees, I am increasingly aggravated by the fact that most of the conversation has switched immediately to how these events will impact fundraising for the new university sports complex. Where is the discussion about sexual harassment in the workplace? Where is the donor who says that as a result of these actions, I’m going to direct my next large donation to the University Aurora Center, which aids victims of sexual harassment? Where are the sincere apologies to the women who were sexually harassed? The very notion that Teague could even be considered as a consultant from an off-campus location places fundraising embarrassingly above maintaining a respectful, safe and welcoming work environment at the University of Minnesota.
Richard Portnoy, Minneapolis
Other candidates may lack the bombast but still have poor ideals
We’ve got a long way to go until Election Day in 2016. Some advice: Listen not only to the candidates’ words but, also, their deeds. Donald Trump’s comments have made him an easy target, but other candidates have consistently opposed granting parental leave, supporting family planning resources, funding child nutrition programs and more. That’s offensive to me. Women — in fact, all Americans — can be harmed by the policies these positions represent. Pay attention!
Stephanie Wolkin, White Bear Lake
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Tax exemption is warranted
The Aug. 8 letter “Tax exemption must end,” about church sexual abuse cases, is missing a point. As usual, the moral lapses of relatively few has overshadowed the efforts of countless millions of religious and laypeople to make their world a better place. This is a moral and ethical fiasco, but it has nothing to do with taxes.
If you are to look at taxes or costs vs. benefit, the Catholic Church, through its numerous affiliates and dedicated people, has more than paid its way. Aside from its other social services, in the last 50 years Catholic schools in the United States have taught more than 177 million students in primary and secondary schools with 1.9 million enrolled in 2014, the last year of available data. The average cost of a public student in the U.S. in 2012 was $10,608, resulting in a savings to the public coffers of nearly $20 billion in 2014 alone. This all while Catholics are paying taxes to support the public system.
Art Thell, Inver Grove Heights