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Sports

Another Minnesota Athletics Administrator Accused of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Surprise, surprise.
September 3, 2015, 6:35pm

Associate AD Mike Ellis takes leave of absence due to sexual harassment allegations. http://t.co/Wvz21SwTLQ pic.twitter.com/oj5Qd3jwqR
— The Daily Gopher (@TheDailyGopher) September 3, 2015

There's an old adage that goes, "for each chauvinistic, patriarchal dipshit you see, there are at least 1,000 chauvinistic, patriarchal dipshits you don't." Such is the case with the University of Minnesota athletics administration.

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On Thursday, Mike Ellis, Minnesota's Senior Associate Athletic Director, "voluntarily" took leave while facing five anonymous complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination less than a month after Norwood Teague, former University of Minnesota athletic director, resigned amidst sexual harassment complaints,

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ellis, described as the "hand-picked assistant" to Teague, had shown pornographic images of college-aged women on his cellphone to Teague and others during a 2012 bowl game. Shortly after, Chris Bahl, a staff member, made it known that he was offended by the images, and was later fired due to "reorganization purposes," according to the complaint filed in August.

The cellphone incident is just one in a few damning complaints against both Ellis and Teague. The two administrators had previously held top positions together in the athletic department of Virginia Commonwealth University, which received a formal complaint from basketball coach Beth Cunningham about Title IX discrimination. In 2012, VCU paid Cunningham $125,000 to settle that complaint.

Earlier this month, Teague resigned amidst sexual harassment complaints that he was inappropriately touching two female university employees while drunk, sending one of them several graphic text messages. University President Eric Kaler tried to downplay the situation at a news conference,

I view this as the action of one man who was overserved [alcohol] and a series of bad events happened. It doesn't reflect the culture and the values of the university.

It seems that Kaler is dealing with a culture of sexism within his athletics department. Or a culture that lies within certain unchecked corners of the male-dominated profession.