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‘Pattern’ of Sexual Misconduct Is Seen Among U. of Minnesota Football Players, Official Says

A University of Minnesota administrator says there is a “concerning pattern” of misbehavior by the campus’s football players, some of whom have been recently accused of sexual misconduct, according to an email obtained by The Star Tribune.

The newspaper reports that Kimberly Hewitt, the university’s director of equal opportunity and affirmative action, wrote in a July email to the athletic director at the time that she was concerned about behavior by the players, citing five reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or retaliation by individual players or groups of players. In an interview with the newspaper, Ms. Hewitt said she still was concerned about the program.

According to Ms. Hewitt, the volume of complaints “demonstrates a concerning pattern of football-player conduct that we believe requires responsive action.”

“There’s nothing since I’ve been here,” the football coach, Jerry Kill, told the newspaper when asked about the recent complaints. He went on: “If we have anything that I’m aware of that has to do with the ladies or anything of that nature, I go through … [the senior associate athletic director, the interim athletic director,] and call the police.”

The revelation followed a series of resignations at the university. Norwood Teague, the athletic director at the time of the email, resigned in August after he was accused of sexually harassing two staff members. Another athletics administrator, Mike Ellis, is on voluntary leave amid an investigation into five anonymous complaints against him.

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