Bev Kearney announces intent to file discrimination charge

Former women's track and field coach Bev Kearney - Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

More serious steps towards a lawsuit are now being taken by the former women's track coach and her attorney.

Eight days after rumors flew about former Texas Longhorns women's track coach Bev Kearney and her attorney revealing damaging information about the Texas athletic department, Kearney's attorney, Derek Howard, told ESPN that his client will be filing an EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission discrimination charge on Monday.

Howard said that the charge will reference the relationship that current co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had with a student trainer at the Fiesta Bowl in 2009, an incident for which he had his pay frozen and underwent counseling, but kept his job.

Kearney had been forced to resign back in March after being put on administrative leave in November when a former track student athlete came forward and said that she had been in a relationship with Kearney in 2002. It all happened just as Texas women's athletic director Chris Plonsky had recommended Kearney for a large raise and contract extension, a contract which could be the minimum request for a settlement if the potential lawsuit reaches that point.

An investigation that will last 180 days will now be undertaken by the EEOC to determine whether Kearney will have the right to sue the school over the matter.

There were no new revelations from the Kearney side, as Applewhite was the only person mentioned by name. A report from last week by the San Antonio Express-New found that a review of 51 personnel files of current and former Texas athletic department revealed no other disciplinary acts taken against staff members for similar acts, though that doesn't necessarily mean that there hadn't been an instance or multiple instances of people looking the other way and ignoring sexual misconduct.

Currently, the biggest cause for worry remains former associate athletics director Cleve Bryant, who was fired for harassment in 2011 and may have exhibited a pattern of behavior that was ignored until the suit by a former athletic department employee was brought against him, but Howard has also suggested that he will investigate the entire faculty for similar incidents that could bolster his client's case.

With six months until the EEOC makes a decision on whether Kearney can go ahead and file a suit against Texas, plenty of time will pass before this plays out. If it's only Applewhite, the damage will be minimal. If not, well, things could get ugly.

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