Texas Longhorns sports fans may have more to watch next fall than football. The university may be dealing with a high-profile sexual discrimination lawsuit from its former women's track and field coach. Last week the coach (Bev Kearney), through her attorney, filed a complaint against UT with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission alleging racial and gender discrimination, as well as retaliation.
The EEOC has 180 days to investigate Kearney's claim before she can sue UT, which her lawyer, Derek Howard, reportedly told the San Antonio Express News she intends to do. That would mean you could expect such a lawsuit to be filed any time form mid-September through the end of the year.
In the meantime, UT employees — including in the athletic department — could be subject to questioning by the EEOC. The coach's lawyer has indicated he has knowledge of “in excess of 10” inappropriate relationships between UT staffers and subordinates. He said such relationships are “part of the culture” at UT and that none of the staffers involved have been subject to the same treatment Kearney received when the school discovered last fall she'd had an affair with a student-athlete in 2003.
If this is true it would certainly bolster Kearney's claims. Title VII and its state counterpart, the TCHRA, both forbid discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. One way to establish such discrimination is to show that other employees (presumably of the opposite gender) in very similar circumstances to that of the plaintiff were disciplined less harshly for substantially similar conduct.
Either way it seems that this Fall could be full of excitement for the UT athletic department...just not the variety sports fans were hoping for.
Read More: San Antonio Express News