Suit by former Texas track coach says she was treated differently than Major Applewhite

Houston head coach Major Applewhite was an assistant at Texas before he went to Houston. (Michael Wyke/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Attorneys for a former Texas track and field coach want to speak to administrators at the school as part of a discrimination suit against the university.

Former women’s track and field coach Bev Kearney was suspended and ultimately asked to resign from her position in 2013 after it came out that she had a relationship with a track athlete in 2002. Kearney, who is black, contrasts her situation to that of now-Houston coach Major Applewhite, who had a relationship with a student trainer on a Fiesta Bowl trip in 2009 when he was an assistant at the school.

Applewhite, a former QB for the Longhorns, was the team’s running backs coach during the 2008 season. Applewhite’s relations with the trainer weren’t publicly known until 2013, when he was still on staff at Texas. Applewhite later served as the team’s offensive coordinator before he left the school when Mack Brown was fired.

From the AP:

Kearney’s lawyers told Texas officials in December they want to interview LaToya Hill Smith and Linda Millstone, who were administrators in the Dean of Students office and what is now called the Office for Inclusion and Equity, when the Applewhite and Kearney incidents were discovered in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

Smith was later the school’s top Title IX compliance coordinator and is now a senior associate athletic director for student services. Millstone retired in 2017.

Texas has tried unsuccessfully to dismiss the suit. According to USA Today in February 2013, the revelation of Applewhite’s relationship with the trainer was a direct result of a potential suit by Kearney. Texas officials knew of Applewhite’s Fiesta Bowl fling shortly after it happened and ordered counseling and a salary freeze.

In a letter of reprimand dated Feb. 5, 2009, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds wrote that Applewhite’s salary would be frozen until Jan. 1, 2010. Applewhite was making $260,500, including base salary and other guaranteed university compensation, as the Longhorns’ running backs coach. In 2012, as co-offensive coordinator, he made $575,000 in guaranteed compensation.

After leaving Texas when Brown was fired, Applewhite became Houston’s offensive coordinator in 2015 under coach Tom Herman. He was an assistant with the Cougars for two years until Herman, coincidentally, left for Texas and promoted to head coach in Herman’s absence. Houston finished the 2017 season 7-6.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!