Bev Kearney, University of Texas women’s track coach, resigned Saturday after acknowledging in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman that she had an intimate relationship with an athlete in 2002. Kearney, who won six national championships since 1993, was placed on paid leave in November upon investigation, says USA Today.
Saturday night, university officials said the relationship was first reported to the school in October and the school was preparing to fire Kearney before her voluntary resignation. According to FOX News, Neither Kearney nor the university has released the identity of the former Texas athlete. Kearney said it was a “consensual intimate relationship” that began in July 2002 and terminated later that year.
Patti Ohlendorf, Texas vice president for legal affairs, said:
“Coach Kearney is a good person and has been very important to the university. However, she made this terrible mistake and used unacceptably poor judgment in having this relationship.”
In spite of this, Ohlendorf said that the university:
“cannot condone such an intimate relationship, including one that is consensual, between a head coach and an student athlete. We told Coach Kearney such a relationship is unprofessional and crosses 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.”
In an interview, Kearney said she didn’t know why the relationship came back to haunt her ten years later:
“You destroy yourself. You start questioning how could you make such a judgment. How could you make such an error after all the years? You can get consumed (by it)… I didn’t commit a crime, but I displayed poor judgment.”