AUSTIN -- The legal process has begun to decide if former University of Texas women's track coach Bev Kearney was treated differently by UT than university football coach Major Applewhite. Both admitted to improper relationships. Applewhite still has his job. Kearney resigned after being told a termination process would begin.
Before a lawsuit can be filed, complaints concerning race and gender discrimination must go to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Texas Workforce Commission. Kearney's lawyer told KVUE those were filed Monday March 11.
According to a statement from Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at UT: "Coach Kearney and her attorneys were told that such action would include a formal opportunity, both in person and in writing, for her to provide her side of the story and reasons that she should not be terminated..."
The statement continued in part: "In addition, they were advised that if the subsequent decision was to terminate, she would have an opportunity to appeal that decision and have a hearing before a hearing officer after which a final decision would be made based upon the hearing record. "
Instead, Ohlendorf says Coach Kearney's attorneys asked for time to consider her options, then chose to resign.
Kearney can file a lawsuit 180 days after filing with the EEOC, regardless of the outcome of the federal investigation.