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'U' Associate Athletic Director On Leave Amid Allegations

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A University of Minnesota employee who was hand-picked by Norwood Teague is now facing complaints of his own.

The university confirmed that since Aug. 7, they have received a number of complaints against Associate Athletic Director Mike Ellis.

The U of M says because of data privacy they won't comment on the allegations.

But according to the Star Tribune, one of the complaints involved pornography.

When Norwood Teague was hired by the University of Minnesota, Ellis followed.

He was brought on board by Teague in 2012, and as associate athletic director, he's worked closely with a number of sports, including men's basketball.

In 2013, WCCO did a story on the Villa 7 program that Ellis has been a major part of. It seeks to help young coaches find head coaching jobs.

But shortly after Teague resigned last month amid harassment allegations, complaints about Ellis began coming in.

In a statement released today, the university said, "Since August 7, five anonymous reports have been received on the University's EthicsPoint reporting system."

The U of M said they asked Ellis to take voluntary time off, which he agreed to do, while they investigate the complaints.

The statement said there was a prior complaint against Ellis in January 2013.

The complaint was investigated, there was no discipline and that matter is considered closed.

But according to the Star Tribune, the most recent complaints were filed by members of the U of M's senior athletic staff.

They allege that Ellis had pornographic images of college-aged women on his cell phone and shared them with other employees in 2012 at a Gophers bowl game in Houston, Texas.

"I'm not surprised," said DFL Senator Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka, who chairs the higher education committee. "I'm deeply disappointed in the leadership of the athletic department."

Bonoff has called upon the legislative auditor and others to help with the Teague, and now Ellis, investigations.

"We need to clean house. And I think the investigation will reveal how deeply they need to go in order to have a clean house," said Bonoff.

Bonoff is hoping that investigators also come back with recommendations on how to prevent problems in the future and how to protect those that report wrong-doings.

Last month, Teague resigned as athletic director following reports of sexual harassment.


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