UT asks appeals court to dismiss Bev Kearney discrimination case

Posted May 19th, 2016


The University of Texas is asking the 3rd Court of Appeals to modify an order it made earlier this month and dismiss a case brought by former women’s track coach Bev Kearney.

The motion was filed Wednesday.

In the motion, the university says that Kearney failed to prove a fourth plank of a prima facie case that said the school discriminated against her based on race and gender. The university’s appeal said that because Kearney failed to submit evidence proving that Kearney was treated differently, the court has no jurisdiction in the matter.


Kearney filed a $1 million discrimination suit against the school in November,  2013. It 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 admitted to a relationship with one of her student athletes in October, 2012. The relationship occurred a decade before. A $150,000 planned raise for Kearney was put on hold and she took a leave of absence. Kearney resigned in January, 2013, eight days after the school informed her that she would be terminated.

During her 20-year career with the Longhorns, she led her team to six national titles.

Kearney’s case listed two names of male coaches who were not treated the same as Kearney.

One was Applewhite, who admitted to an affair with a student staffer for the football team during a trip to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. The athletic department froze Applewhite’s base for 20 months.

The other coach was Moore, who led the volleyball team from 1997-2000. While at another school, Moore married one of his former players. Kearney’s suit said that UT hired him knowing of his relationship.

The suit said there are others who had inappropriate relationships: “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, 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.”

Here is the court document:






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