As a Hall of Fame track and field coach and the first African American coach at UT, Bev Kearney was among the highest profile track and field coaches in the country.
That came to an abrupt end when Kearney was placed on paid leave, while the university launched an investigation related to “unspecific issues within the program”.
Kearney, who once won six national championships, acknowledge in her interview with Austin American-Statesman, that she indeed had an intimate relationship with a female athlete in her program in 2002.
The identity of the female has not been released, although the relationship was said to have been between two consensual adults.
The affair that ended 10 years ago was reported to the university around the same time Kearney was set to get a huge raise. Kearney’s salary was set to go from $270,000 to $397,000 plus a bonus of $25,000.
The coach’s attorney, Derek A. Howard, finds the women’s timing curious. Howard released a statement to Statesmen saying,
“It’s curious that someone from her very distant past would report this as she was being offered a substantial raise and contract extension.We believe that Ms. Kearney has been subjected to a double standard and has received far harsher punishment than that being given to her male counter-parts who have engaged in similar conduct.It is a shame that this remarkably talented female African-American coach, who has devoted her life to helping others, is being bullied and scapegoated by the University of Texas.”
Howard is exploring legal options for his client, not excluding the possibility of a gender and race bias lawsuit.
Kearney, who is 55 years old, was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007,won NCAA outdoor team titles in 1998, 1999 and 2005,obtained NCAA indoor championships in 1998, 1999 and 2006, and was recognized as the conference coach of the year 16 times while at Texas.
Moral of the story what is done in the dark always come to light.