Kearney alleges racism at UT

March 24, 2013 at 3:34 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, March 24 (UPI) -- Former Texas Longhorns women's track coach Beverly Kearney filed a complaint alleging racist and sexist treatment by school officials, her lawyer said.

Kearney, who coached the team to six national championships in 19 seasons, said the "severely hostile working environment" began in 2004. She quit Jan. 5 when school officials told her they intended to fire her over an inappropriate relationship with a student-athlete in 2002.

School officials withheld salary raises and regularly demeaned her in person, her lawyer Derek Howard told the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman on Saturday. She also charges she was the subject of numerous NCAA investigations over untrue allegations by school officials.

"It's a shame that the UT athletic department has chosen to treat a black female coach differently from white male coaches," Howard told the Statesman. "Apparently, the good ol' boys club is alive and well at UT."

Kearney filed her complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission. By law, the EEOC cannot file suit against a state agency like the University of Texas but if the complaint is found to have merit EEOC officials can act as a mediator to reach a settlement.

The school denied the allegations.

"We disagree with the statements and allegations in the complaint," Texas athletic department spokesman Nick Voinis said. "Nevertheless, they will be reviewed thoroughly and in accordance to those agencies policies and procedures."

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