A former University of Texas track coach has settled the discrimination case she filed against the university in 2013 for an undisclosed sum.
Bev Kearney, who claimed she was fired as the Longhorns' women's track coach because of her race and gender, had been seeking in excess of $1 million.
According to Horns 247, Kearney threatened to reveal several inappropriate relationships within the athletic department and throughout the university to prove her point that she was unfairly singled out and dismissed for having an intimate relationship with one of her female track athletes 10 years earlier. Her lawsuit contrasted the treatment she received against that of several white males, including Major Applewhite, a former Texas assistant football coach who revealed to school officials an extramarital affair with a graduate student trainer during the 2008 season, which culminated in team's a Fiesta Bowl appearance in January 2009. Applewhite wasn't fired, but instead saw his salary frozen for one year.
The lawsuit also claimed a three-year relationship between an athletics administrator and subordinate with whom he held salary decision power, among other inappropriate relationships. "In one of the most glaring examples of the university's blatant disregard for this being an alleged problem amongst coaches and student-athletes, the university previously employed Jim Moore (current head volleyball coach at the University of Oregon) from 1997 to 2000 despite the fact he married his former student-athlete, Stacy Metro," the lawsuit stated. "These relationships between a professor, coach or administrator and a student, student-athlete or subordinate employee, are believed to be well known by the university administration and quietly disregarded and swept under the rug.
"However, without citing any specific written policy, the university has singled out Ms. Kearney, an African-American female, regarded her as different based on a nearly 10-year-old relationship."
Kearney's lawsuit claims that then women's athletic director Chris Plonsky told her "as long as there were no other relationships, it should not be a problem." Raasin McIntosh, the star sprinter with whom Kearney had a relationship, reportedly received from Kearney a Volkswagon Jetta in violation of NCAA rules, though the statute of limitations had precluded an NCAA investigation.
Horns 247 further reports that McIntosh came forward 10 years after the fact, as Kearney was poised to receive new contract proposed by Plonsky that would have given Kearney a five-year extension and raise in salary from $270,000 to $422,000 for 2012-13. Kearney's salary could've reached $475,000, plus bonuses, by 2017.
In a statement released at the time of the lawsuit's filing, UT vice president of legal affairs Ohlendorf said:
"Ms. Kearney was a coach with some admirable qualities who brought success to our women's track program, overcame great challenges, and contributed to the campus community.
"When the university reviews inappropriate behavior by its employees, each case is evaluated on its individual facts.
"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.
"The team member later reported it to university officials who pursued all appropriate action."
Applewhite was deposed by Kearney's attorneys, as were former head football coach Mack Brown and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds, both of whom stepped down from their positions in 2013. Former UT president Bill Powers, who stepped down in 2014, was also deposed.