The University of Texas has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a race and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by Bev Kearney after she was forced out as womenâ€™s track coach in 2013, according to the settlement obtained Monday by the American-Statesman through an open records request.
Kearney, who is an African American, had argued that her punishment was unreasonably firmer than that imposed on Major Applewhite, a white former assistant football coach, who was ordered to undergo counseling after he had a brief consensual relationship with a student trainer on a bowl game trip following the 2008 season.
He was later promoted and is now head coach at the University of Houston.
Kearney, only the second African-American head coach in UT history when she was hired in 1993, won six NCAA titles and national coach of the year honors five times.
However, after being recommended for a $150,000 raise in fall 2012, she was put on leave and then forced out in January 2013 after UT learned of an inappropriate long-term relationship she had with one of her athletes a decade earlier.
John Mask, a lawyer for Kearney, and UT spokesman Gary Susswein had confirmed in June that a settlement was in the offing, but they provided no details. Mask said last year that Kearney was claiming damages approaching $4 million, including the value of a new contract that had yet to be signed.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Kearney receives $277,452.10 and the Jody R. Mask PLLC law firm receives $322,547.90.
The university spent more than $500,000 defending the case, according to financial records reviewed by the Associated Press.