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Cleve Bryant Fired: Sexual Harassment Revealed As Cause For Dismissal From Texas Football Program

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CLEVE BRYANT

When the University of Texas dismissed Cleve Bryant from his position as associate athletics director for football operations in March, it was initially hard to find out about the personnel move at all, let alone get any details.

Months later, ESPN is finally reporting at length on the firing, revealing that Bryant's exit was caused by charges that he sexually harassed female employees at the University during his time there.

Bryant, who was widely known to be Mack Brown's right-hand man, had been on paid leave from his post since October, when the allegations surfaced.

According to ESPN, Rachel Arena, the 24-year-old former female staffer who has accused Bryant of harassment, cited several shocking examples in her formal complaint. Prominent among the lascivious actions alleged to have been committed by Bryant -- who reportedly earned the nickname "Old Freak Nasty" for his lewd behavior -- was pulling down the top Arena's dress and fondling her breast during a meeting to discuss a potential salary increase in July 2010.

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In October, Bryant's lawyer Tom Nesbitt refused to comment on the nature of the allegations surrounding his client, writing in a statement: "Mr. Bryant deeply regrets any distraction this has caused and knows that a thorough investigation will clear him of this false accusation."

This ultimately wasn't the case. Patricia Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at UT Austin, confirmed via email in March that “Mr. Bryant is no longer an employee of the University."

In a 2006 New York Times article highlighting their working relationship, Brown said that hiring Bryant was "the best thing I've done as far as friendship and my job since I've been a head coach." He also said that "if Cleve leaves, I'm leaving, too."

When asked by the Longhorn Network about the allegations against Bryant, Brown had no comment.

Bryant had been working at the University since 1998, when Brown was hired as head coach.

In June, Nesbitt said that Bryant was appealing the University's decision to terminate him.

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who reportedly was representing Arena, told ESPN that Arena's complaint with the university has since been settled, but she did not reveal for how much.

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