03/20/2013 04:55 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Bev Kearney, University Of Texas Track Coach, Claims She Was Discriminated Against For Being Gay

A women's track coach who was put on leave at the University of Texas in 2012 after having a relationship with a female athlete has filed a complaint against the school claiming discrimination.

The Associated Press reports that Bev Kearney, who is African American and a lesbian, filed a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission. Kearney had been put on leave last year, but officially resigned in January after her relationship with a female athlete, who was of age at the time, made headlines.

Kearney's relationship with the student reportedly began in July 2002 and ended months later, according to the American-Statesman.

It was later pointed out that the assistant football coach, Major Applewhite, was allowed to keep his position after having an inappropriate relationship with a student trainer. The university's athletic director subsequently reprimanded Applewhite and froze his pay for a year, according to the Dallas Voice.

“We think there is a double standard at the University of Texas, giving men the opportunity to engage in inappropriate relationships without fear of being caught or punished,” Kearney's attorney Derek Howard is quoted by the Voice as saying.

Meanwhile, university officials argued that Kearney's relationship had "crossed the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student athletes on the team," even though it was consensual, according to ESPN.

Kearney took her position as the women's track coach in 1993 and championed the team into winning six NCAA track championships. She was also inducted into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story said Kearney had been placed on leave in 2002, not 2012.



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