U. of Texas Women’s Track Coach Resigns Over Relationship With Student

Bev Kearney, head coach of the women’s track and field team at the University of Texas at Austin, said on Saturday that she would step down following an investigation of what she called a “consensual intimate relationship” with an athlete in 2002. Ms. Kearney said the student reported the relationship to university officials this fall, prompting an investigation that led to her being placed on leave in November. Ms. Kearney’s lawyer said she had been subjected to a “double standard” and had been punished more severely than her male counterparts who have engaged in similar conduct.

Patti Ohlendorf, the university’s vice president for legal affairs, told the American-Statesman, “In the case of a head coach and a student-athlete on his or her team, the university’s position is that that cannot be condoned in any event. ‘It can’t happen’ is what the university’s position is on that.”

“We believe Bev is a good person. Bev has done a lot for the university over the years,” Ohlendorf added. “We think this is a terrible mistake, and I know it’s something she regrets. But it’s not the type of thing that can happen between a coach and a student-athlete on the team.”

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