Judge rules UT must hand over Applewhite’s personnel records, with student names redacted

By John Salazar
Time Warner Cable News
Originally published May 27, 2014

University of Texas officials must hand over the personnel records of Longhorn offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, according to a ruling handed down by a state district judge Tuesday afternoon.

The move is a leap forward in the $1 million discrimination lawsuit filed against the university by former track coach Bev Kearney.

Kearney says the university discriminated against her and ultimately fired her for a consensual relationship she had with a student athlete in 2002. She resigned Dec. 28 2012, according to court records, instead of facing termination. The suit claims Kearney’s former white male colleagues who also had inappropriate relationships are still working at the school.

Kearney’s lawsuit singles out football coach Major Applewhite, who also had a relationship with a female student-trainer during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. The school froze his salary at that time, but he was later promoted to offensive coordinator and his salary has more than doubled.

In court Tuesday afternoon, University of Texas lawyers argued against releasing Applewhite’s records. Instead, the judge ruled to redact the names of any students found in Applewhite’s file.

Kearney’s attorney told TWC News other coaches are accused of similar situations and they can prove it. They say in time, they will be able to show the university discriminated against a black, female coach.

“I am very confident that we are able to show that inappropriate relationships occurred with white males within the athletic department,” Kearney’s attorney, Jody R. Mask, said. “I am not sure that we should be limited to the athletic department either—I believe that there were a number of employees, professors, who have had inappropriate relationships.”

Kearney’s attorneys also want the judge to allow other University of Texas personnel records to be released. They say that will show court coaches, professors and other administrators have had relationships with students and or subordinate staffers. The judge has yet to rule on that issue.

Next month, Applewhite will answer questions about how university officials handled his case. Kearney’s lawyers will take his statements under oath behind closed doors in a deposition June 19.

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