In 2013, Bev Kearney, then a track and field coach at the University of Texas at Austin, filed a lawsuit against the University, claiming race and sex discrimination that resulted in her being fired.
She was fired because she had a relationship with a female student athlete almost a decade prior to her termination. Once administrators were made aware of the relationship, they promptly terminated her employment.
Kearney cites race and sex discrimination based on the claim that UT treated similar instances with men with a lighter hand in the past.
Specifically, she cited former President of UT Bill Powers, as well as former UT football Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite. Powers, she said, was likely guilty of misconduct in a similar manner because of his marriage to a former student. In the case of Applewhite, Kearney cited an alleged sexual interaction with a student trainer at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, for which Applewhite was only lightly reprimanded.
Applewhite is now the head football coach at the University of Houston, where one of his first actions was to hire a disgraced former Baylor coach who had been part of the school’s sexual assault scandal.
Kearney sought damages from the University, amounting to as much as $4 million dollars, given the value of the contract she would have signed with the University had she not been fired. The case has been slowly appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.
However, UT, instead of going to trial, has chosen to settle with Kearney for an undisclosed amount.
Scandal has consistently plagued UT’s administration and this latest instance is proof that taxpayers should demand Governor Abbott appoint regents who will take swift and decisive action in cases of misconduct at the University.