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Saturday, March 16, 2013
Bev Kearney to claim discrimination

By Kelly Naqi
ESPN

Former Texas women's track coach Bev Kearney, who resigned Jan. 5 after the disclosure she had an intimate relationship with an athlete in her program in 2002, will announce the filing of an EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission discrimination charge on Monday, her attorney has told ESPN.

"This is the legal prerequisite to filing a discrimination lawsuit," lawyer Derek Howard said in a text message, "and it will specifically reference the [Major] Applewhite comparative scenario."

Bev Kearney
Former Texas track coach Bev Kearney, talking with athletes Kira Robinson, left, and Alandra Sherman in 2008, won six national titles with the Longhorns.

Applewhite, UT's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, admitted to an inappropriate consensual relationship with a student in 2009 and remains on the staff.

"[The discrimination claim] will be investigated for 180 days before [we] have the right to sue," Howard said.

Kearney, who was hired at Texas in 1993, won six national championships with the Longhorns. She had been recommended for a large raise until the relationship was reported to the school in October and she was suspended in November.

Although Kearney and the school described the relationship as consensual, Patti Ohlendorf, Texas vice president for legal affairs, said in January the school could not condone a coach having a relationship with an athlete, saying it "crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student athletes on the team."

School officials have said they don't believe Kearney had any similar relationships with other student athletes.

"Coach Kearney's attorneys asked that she be given a short time to consider her options," Ohlendorf said in a statement released by the school on Saturday. "The University granted that request and coach Kearney chose to resign the next week. The university was informed of this decision on Saturday, Jan. 5, after coach Kearney had given an interview to the Austin American-Statesman.

"As coach Kearney was told by the university, the relationship that she had with the student-athlete is unprofessional and crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student-athletes on the team. The university reviews allegations and reports of unprofessional relationships on a case-by-case basis and did so after the relationship was reported to the Athletics administration last fall."

In Applewhite's case, his relationship with the student trainer wasn't publicly revealed until 2013. According to a 2009 document in his personnel file released by the school last month, Applewhite was ordered to undergo counseling and warned that a repeat offense would have more serious consequences.

Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback, was the Longhorns' running backs coach and in his first season with the team in 2008 when Texas went the Fiesta Bowl. Applewhite has said the relationship was a "one-time" occurrence.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.