The Austin American reported Thursday that former Texas woman's track coach Bev Kearney is filing a $1 million lawsuit in State Disctrict Court alleging race and gender discrimination.
Kearney, one of the most successful coaches in women's NCAA track & field, alleges that she was unfairly punished for having an inappropriate relationship with a student-athlete when others (male & white) were not so severely disciplined.
Kearney is asking for a minimum of $1 million in damages. The suit says that UT has a double standard in such matters. Kearney resigned last January after being told she would be fired for having an inappropriate relationship with one of her athletes in 2002. Kearney admitted to the relationship last fall.
The lawsuit alleges that while Kearney was being pushed out, UT did not discipline former volleyball coach Jim Moore, who married one of his former athletes. The suit also alleges that there is a pattern at the University where male employees are not treated as harshly as Kearney was.
Here a portion of the suit that could reverberate all the way from Bellmont Hall to the State Capital.
"Based on information and belief, other University employees (all of whom are white males) have been involved in relationships with students or direct subordinates and have not been subjected to termination, let alone any meaningful disciplinary actions.
"These University employees include Major Applewhite (current Defensive Coordinator for the football team), 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. Based on information and belief, a high level administrator within the University's Athletic Department has carried on a prolonged intimate relationship of approximately three years with a subordinate employee with whom he has direct involvement in setting her pay."
Obviously there is the veiled threat of naming names of those involved in more of these inappropriate relationships at UT, including current athletic department employees.
Also, UT-Austin President, William Powers, who is in a struggle with some members of the UT System Board of Regents, met his wife while she was a law student at UT and he was a professor.
Current UT Regent Wallace Hall, who is facing possible impeachment from the State Legislature, has been spearheading an investigation of Powers and has been accused of overstepping his authority in doing so. The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agencies is holding hearing on the possibility of impeaching Hall.
Just this week the committee issued a subpoena for Powers to testify before the committee in December, and they may also issue one for Hall in the future.
Kearney is asking for at least $1 million for "damages that include payment for lost and future wages, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish and court costs."