The University of Texas women’s track coach who resigned recently has spoken out about the incident, and she’s not very happy. In her words she felt “ratted out” or discriminated against because she’s a black disabled woman.
According to CNN:
The University of Texas women’s track coach who resigned under fire after the disclosure of an affair with a female student a decade ago doesn’t understand why she was targeted for punishment and questions whether she’s being treated fairly. “Is it because I have a disability? Is it because I’m black? Is it because I’m female? Is it because I’m successful? Is it now because of my sexual preference?” Coach Bev Kearney asked on CNN’s “Starting Point” Tuesday. “I had to finally come to embrace not knowing why, and I had to embrace it because the more you try to figure out why, the harder it is to forgive.”
A head coach at Texas since 1993, Kearney is held in great esteem in the track world. She led the Longhorns to six national titles and was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.
She is widely admired for her gritty resolve to walk again after she was partially paralyzed in an auto accident.
But things turned south for Kearney last year when the university learned of an affair in 2002 with a female student. The revelation came at just about the same time Kearney was discussing a pay raise and a contract extension. When asked by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien whether people around her and maybe even her former lover, a one-time student, now age 30, “ratted her out,” Kearney said, “that’s fair.”
The affair began in August 2002, which is not long after the university put a policy into its handbook about consensual relationships between staff members and students. Kearney said she never really thought about the relationship from a legal perspective. “You know, you get caught up in the emotional and the physical components of a relationship, and the last thing you’re doing is thinking rationally,” she said.
In an e-mail to CNN on Sunday, Patti Ohlendorf, head of the university’s legal affairs department, said: “In Intercollegiate Athletics and the coaching profession, 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. We told Coach Kearney and Mr. Howard that such a relationship crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student-athletes in the program.” Ohlendorf denied Sunday that gender played a role in the university’s review and said she knows of no other “UT head coach who has entered into such a relationship with a student-athlete on his or her team.”
Kearney said “everyone should deserve an opportunity to have fair treatment based upon your policies, whether something is morally acceptable to an individual or not, our law says it’s about the application of the law, and then at some point, there ought to be some form of consideration for that person’s past history, they didn’t find a prior relationship or a subsequent relationship.”
Thoughts?? Watch the video of Coach Kearney’s response below:
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