Saturday, August 8, 2015

Whatever Cures Ya, Kills Ya

Here's the thing... when you are willing to use the kind of language that Norwood Teague used in those texts to a University of Minnesota employee that he had just met that same evening, it ain't your first rodeo.

When you're willing, in public, to pinch the butt of a woman you met mere hours before, this isn't the first time you've been there.

When you're willing to ask a married woman if she is happy in her marriage, and if she is willing to cheat on her husband, it doesn't matter that you've had two rum-punches and a glass of Merlot... you've played this game before. 

This, folks, is the most disturbing part of the Norwood Teague saga. Nobody uses that kind of language in a text to a woman, acts the way he acted, or asks the questions he asked in that short of a timeframe just because of alcohol. 

Especially not someone who has as much experience with alcohol in professional situations as Teague.

Those are the actions of a man who has used these tactics before, and man for whom these tactics, sadly, probably worked at some point.

But I'm not here to be a revisionist historian. 

I'm not going to tell you that Teague's bravado made me uncomfortable all along. On the contrary, I thought it was exactly what this Athletic Department needed at a time when raising money for facilities was Priority #1.

I liked Norwood Teague. I liked that he was going after the big dollars. I liked that he wasn't afraid to make a move in the Men's Basketball program. I liked that he was committed to football as a way to "feed" the Athletic Programs at large. 

Heck, I kind of liked the fact that he wasn't afraid to tip a few back with the donors and have boosters over to his place to do whatever it is rich people do when they are trying to get each other to hand over handsome sums of money.

He was the right personality with the right experience at the right time. He oversaw the Athletic Department while football was making its way back to a New Year's Day bowl game, while corporate donors were coming forward to fund facilities, and perhaps most importantly, while all Athletic Programs were raising their grade-point averages to historic levels.

But those things won't be Norwood Teague's legacy anymore. 

He won't be remembered for the good things he did while at the helm. We'll probably all forget about #HailTeague on Twitter. We won't remember him waxing nostalgic about music on KFAN.

We'll probably remember him as a drunk.

And that's unfortunate. Not because it diminishes what he accomplished while at the University of Minnesota. It's unfortunate because, while alcohol is the excuse being thrown around for his actions, the truth is that he didn't act the way he did because of alcohol. 

I'm willing to say that alcohol fueled the flame, but it certainly didn't light the match.

Whatever it is about Norwood Teague that made him a great fundraiser and good Athletic Director, is the same thing that got him in trouble. He didn't have it in him to stop when someone told him no.

When you're raising money, they call it charisma. When you've been dismissed due to harassment, they call it arrogance.

1 comment:

  1. Yup. You called it.