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Report: Richard Pitino Overspent Private Jet Allowance With Permission Of Sexually Harassing Ex-AD

Photo via Tom Olmscheid/AP

Remember Norwood Teague, the former University of Minnesota athletic director who resigned last fall after he sexually harassed a number of women? A recent university audit found that, apparently with his encouragement, the Gopher men’s and women’s basketball teams misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars of athletics funds.

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According to the Star Tribune, an internal audit found that men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino overspent his private jet allowance (of $50,000 a year) for recruiting and other official business by $50,000 and $100,000 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, with Teague’s permission. (You may remember our piece from 2013 on Pitino’s contract.) Pitino’s private jet spending was in-line with a culture of excess and overspending, encouraged by Teague:

In addition to the private jet spending, both basketball programs spent more than allowed on hotels, private cars, birthday or holiday parties, meals and valet parking. The audit even flagged “unreasonable” spending by Pitino involving “multiple” rental cars returned without full gas tanks and instances of parking at the airport even though the team had rented a bus.

[...]

Following Teague’s resignation, the Office of Internal Audit launched a broader audit into the athletics administration, which was released in December and found serious violations of university policy on spending, including tens of thousands of dollars on alcohol, parties and expensive hotels, during Teague’s three-year tenure as AD.

In this audit, Goetz gave a similar printed response to the one she gave in December, writing, “Our department strongly believes that the ‘tone at the top’ of our Department changed in early August with our change in leadership.”

On a related note, Syracuse AD Mark Coyle resigned today after just 10 months on the job in order to take Teague’s old position. Coyle will not be forced by the NCAA to sit out a year, unlike the athletes he oversees.

[Star Tribune]

h/t Ben

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Kevin Draper

Reporter at the New York Times

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