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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Former Track Coach Files Sex and Race Discrimination Lawsuit Against UT

By Dan Atkerson on May 16, 2016

Woman in an interviewA Texas appeals court is allowing a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed by a former track coach at the University of Texas at Austin to proceed. Bev Kearney, who coached the women’s track team until she was pressured into resigning in 2013, is accusing her former employers of race and sex discrimination. According to the lawsuit, Kearney, who is a black, is accusing her former employers of treating her much more harshly than they have treated her white male coworkers for the same offenses.

Kearney was one of the most successful coaches in UT’s history, having helped her athletes bring home six national championships over the course of her 20-year career with the Longhorns. She is a member of both the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

However, none of her many awards or countless positive performance reviews was enough to prevent her from suffering alleged discrimination.

In 2013, Kearney was pressured to resign by school officials who were unhappy with a possible relationship Kearney had with a student athlete 10 years earlier. Kearney filed a lawsuit, arguing that she was being held to a much higher standard than her white, male colleagues.

After Kearney’s resignation, it came to light that UT’s assistant football coach in 2009, Major Applewhite, had been reprimanded for having a relationship with a female student but had not been fired or pressured into quitting. To add further insult to injury, Applewhite was even promoted and received a pay increase not long after the incident.

After filing her suit, school officials requested that the suit be thrown out. Now, more than a year later, a Texas appeals court has decided that Kearney’s case has merit and will be allowed to proceed.

Dallas employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson has years of experience helping people who have been unfairly discriminated against at work or wrongfully terminated. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date news on Texas employment discrimination.

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