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Univ. Texas Track Coach Stepping Down after Lesbian Relationship with One of Her Athletes

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When parents send their kids to college in the care of professors and coaches, the last thing they expect is to find out that one of the coaches is dating their child.  This is especially true if the coach is old enough to be the athlete’s mother. Dating a college student is not against the law, but many university administrators would say that it is against good judgment.

Bev Kearney, the former head coach for the extraordinarily talented track team at The University of Texas, has seen her Hall of Fame career come to an end as a result of a lesbian relationship she had with one of her athletes.  The relationship took place a decade ago, but Kearney is experiencing the consequences right now.

Kearney has been placed on paid leave by the university as of November pending an investigation for unspecified matters.  But her relationship with the athlete was just revealed to the public.

“I didn’t commit a crime, but I displayed poor judgment,” she said in an interview with The Statesman.

Kearney says that she has no idea why the relationship wasn’t revealed to the public until just now.  But someone allegedly notified the school of the incident in October.  That was when things got worse for the six time national champion.

“You destroy yourself. You start questioning how could you make such a judgment,” Kearney said.

“How could you make such an error after all the years? You can get consumed (by it) … I didn’t commit a crime, but I displayed poor judgment.”

Kearney says that the relationship was consensual and intimate.   She says that it started in July 2002 and ended later in the year.  Patti Ohlendorf, University of Texas vice president for legal affairs, says that the university does not believe that the coach had any other inappropriate affairs with other athletes.

Ohlendorf  says that the school “cannot condone such an intimate relationship, including one that is consensual, between a head coach and a student athlete.  We told coach Kearney such a relationship is unprofessional and crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student athletes on the team. Coach Kearney is a good person and has been very important to the university. However, she made this terrible mistake and used unacceptably poor judgment in having this relationship.”

 Kearney’s attorney has turned the matter into a racial issue, claiming that the coach is being bullied by the university.
“It’s 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,”  her lawyer Derek Howard said to the school’s newspaper, The Daily Texan.

“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.”

The Dallas Morning News has revealed that Kearney is going to step down from her post.