Former Track Coach Bev Kearney Files UT Lawsuit

Picture 2

Former UT women’s track and field coach Bev Kearney filed a $1 million lawsuit against UT today, alleging that the University discriminated against her because of her gender and race. Kearney resigned in January after a former student-athlete told UT officials that she and Kearney had a romantic relationship from 2002-03.

Kearney is arguing that she was treated more severely than other UT employees who have had affairs with students. As the Associated Press reported, the lawsuit claims that an unnamed high-level UT administrator is one of several cases of an alleged double standard:

In addition to the unidentified administrator, Kearney mentions as examples [assistant football coach Major] Applewhite and “other coaches within the University’s Athletic Department, current and former law school professors, current and former professors within the university’s undergraduate school, and a department chairperson.”

The suit says knowledge of such past relationships was “quietly disregarded and swept under the rug.”

Meanwhile, the University maintains that it was following school policy by telling Kearney she would be fired after the relationship came to light. Patti Ohlendorf, UT’s vice president for legal affairs, said in a statement, “In this case, it was evident that Ms. Kearney displayed a serious lack of judgment by having an inappropriate, intimate, long-term relationship with a member of her team.”

Before the relationship became public knowledge, Kearney—the first black head coach at UT—was widely praised for her coaching prowess and her storybook comeback from a near-death car accident in 2002, as well as for adopting the daughter of a friend who died in the accident.

In addition to the lawsuit, Kearney also filed a discrimination complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March.


Tags: , , ,


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment