In the midst of the six-game conference winning streak for the Texas Longhorns football team, the specter of the Bev Kearney lawsuit had faded into the background before the official news emerged on Thursday morning that the former women's track and field coach will file her lawsuit this afternoon, which was done just before 1 p.m CT.
Alleging discrimination based on her gender and race, as well as retaliation, Kearney was forced to resign last January after the athletic department put her on leave following the discovery that she had engaged in a long-term relationship with a female track athlete she coached in 2002.
At issue is whether or not the university dealt with her in a manner inconsistent with other members of the athletic department and school faculty -- attorney Derek Howard has been scouring the entire university to look for instances of sexual impropriety covered up or not disciplined by the university, making the lawsuit a search for skeletons of all types buried in any closet around the massive institution.
In fact, Howard claimed during the spring that he had already found "in excess of 10" in appropriate relationships between staffers and subordinates, which he believes is part of the culture at Texas. In the athletic department, the San Antonio Express-News found that co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite is the only staffer with a record of discipline by the department for an inappropriate relationship after he engaged in a one-time consensual affair with a trainer at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, which he then reported to the administration, following athletic department protocol.
Howard revealed several other instances he believes proves that Kearney was unfairly discriminated against, including a former volleyball coach who married a former player, multiple current coaches in the athletic department, and a high-level athletic department official who has been carrying on a relationship with a subordinate whose pay they set, not to mention other members of the faculty.
So why hasn't the school tried to head off the lawsuit and potential scandal involved with it by settling with Kearney? She was set to receive a five-year contract extension worth more than $400,000 annually prior to being put on administrative leave and is asking for at least $1 million.
That sum that would require approval from the Board of Regents, which isn't likely to approve such a large amount because of the ongoing struggles between members loyal to governor Rick Perry and those loyal to university president Bill Powers, who has been embattled now for some time as Perry's crony Wallace Hall undergoes impeachment proceedings in the Texas Senate.
And so after eight months of waiting, the lawsuit is nearly filed and the potential damage to the athletic department and university now closer to hand, with the still-unanswered question, "How bad is this going to get and who will it take out?"