Discrimination charges filed by former UT coach


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and video editor ROB DIAZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on March 25, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 25 at 7:15 PM

AUSTIN -- Earlier this month, a lawyer for former University of Texas woman's head track coach Bevy Kearney filed a complaint with the EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission.

Attorney Derek Howard sent KVUE copies of the charges filed. Kearney claims harassment began as far back as 1994. She filed employment discrimination charges based on race, color, sex, retaliation and disability.

Kearney resigned in January after UT told her a termination process would begin over a relationship with a student athlete ten years ago.

Kearney claimed one of the most glaring examples of how she was treated differently was noticeable when compared to the treatment received by her white counterpart, UT football offensive coordinator Major Applewhite.

In February, Applewhite admitted to an inappropriate consensual relationship with a student. Applewhite was not suspended during the investigation as Kearney was, nor terminated. Applewhite's salary was frozen, but since increased.

In the paperwork, Kearney claims two months before she was placed on leave, she was presented with a five-year contract to bring her salary up to $475,000. However, it was placed on hold and instead Kearney says she was told she could resign instead of being fired. And that if fired, a press release would go out saying she had been terminated.

However, a statement from UT reads differently. It says Kearney was told if the decision was to terminate, she would have an opportunity to appeal that decision.

Other claims point out that harassment began in 1994 when men's track Coach Bubba Thornton was hired. Kearney claims she was "repeatedly demeaned in front of others, including my own athletes, and falsely accused of various NCAA violations and subjected to repeated investigations over an almost 15-year period."

Kearney says she made numerous complaints to human relations, and sought help within the athletics department. She claims that "while some acknowledged the existence of harassment, they did nothing to stop it."

She also says some began acting resentfully toward her, resisting efforts to improve working relationships.

On top of race and retaliation, Kearney claims disability discrimination. In 2002, she was thrown from a car, paralyzing her from the waist down. Kearney underwent surgeries and rehab and within one year she was able to walk using a cane. She claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment, and feels she was forced to resign.

These claims will be investigated, after which Kearney can then file a lawsuit.

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