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’s attorney Derek A. Howard is suggesting that her former lover was prompted to come forward about the decade-old affair to prevent the coach from receiving a raise and extended contract. “Right now I’m in complete survival mode,” Kearney, 55, told news reporters. She said that she has no immediate plans for her career.
Howard said that he believes the timing of the disclosure by the now 30-year-old unidentified former lover is suspicious. “Bev had been offered a substantial $150,000 per year raise, to a five- year contract,” Howard said. “That was in the works, and I think it’s fair to say that this woman was put up to it by some other person, for the reason that the individual who put her up to it was resentful that Bev was being offered this. We can’t say what evidence there is of that. But we can say it seems remarkable, let’s say coincidental, the exact timing this report came out of the blue [was] when the athletic council was recommending that Bev be promoted, and offered a raise,” he said.
University spokesman Nick Voinis did not address Howard’s suggestion directly, but repeated the school’s statement that as head coach, Kearney was “responsible for assuring the best interests of the student-athletes that he or she coaches,” and that it “is unprofessional and unacceptable for a head coach to carry on an intimate relationship with a student-athlete that he or she is coaching.” In a statement, Voinis said “The university told Coach Kearney and Mr. Howard that we were prepared to begin the termination process. She chose to resign instead.”
The university said that it is believed that Kearney did not have other similar relationships with student-athletes while coaching at the school.