A state appeals court ruled Tuesday that former Texas track coach Bev Kearney may continue her $1 million lawsuit against the university.
The Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals threw out Kearney’s claim that the school retaliated against her when it tried to terminate the coach in December 2012. But the court, with the opinion written by Justic Melissa Goodwin, allowed Kearney to continue her claim that said she received disparate treatment in comparison to other coaches.
Sides have until May 18 to file a motion for a rehearing. Or, UT could ask the Texas Supreme Court to hear the case.
Patricia Ohlendorf, UT’s vice president of legal affairs, in an email to the American-Statesman, said: “We will review the court’s judgment with our internal and outside counsel to clarify next steps. UT Austin continues to believe that all actions we took were lawful and appropriate.”
A message left for Jody Mask, Kearney’s lawyer, was not returned.
The case has been in the legal system since November 2013.
Kearney’s lawsuit alleged that UT showed a double standard by punishing her for an inappropriate relationship with a student-athlete, but hired former volleyball coach Jim Moore, who had married one of his athletes before taking the job in Austin. The suit also said others, including former Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, had inappropriate relationships, but were not subject to the same disciplinary action as Kearney.
Kearney’s filing said: “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.
Kearney, who had been with UT for two decades, resigned in January 2013, eight days after she was informed she would be terminated for having an inappropriate relationship with one of her athletes. Kearney said the relationship was consensual and occurred in 2002.
Kearney led the Texas women’s track team to six national titles. She first admitted to the relationship in October 2012. UT put a planned $150,000 raise for Kearney on hold and she was placed on administrative leave.
Review the court rulings below:
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