In a move that was to be expected, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals says it will not revisit its earlier decision to dismiss the University of Texas’ motion to throw out a lawsuit filed by former Longhorns track and field coach Bev Kearney.
This means Kearney, who was dismissed by the university in 2013 for having an inappropriate relationship with a student athlete, can proceed with her $1 million lawsuit alleging UT showed a double standard by punishing her more harshly than it has with other coaches who engaged in similar behavior.
Though it had a slim chance for success, UT had asked the court to reverse its decision from May 3 when it ruled Kearney could continue her claim. This legal practice is common, but appeals courts rarely change their mind.
Should it wish to continue, Texas could now proceed to the Texas Supreme Court and ask that the lawsuit be tossed out.
Kearney believes she was discriminated against and punished differently than other coaches, such as volleyball coach Jim Moore, who had married one of his athletes before taking the job at Texas. The lawsuit also cites the case of former football offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who was subjected to a pay freeze, but not termination, for having an inappropraite relationship with a student trainer.
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