Cleve Bryant was Mack Brown’s right hand man at Texas. In 2006, the New York Times wrote about Bryant’s many roles with the program, and Brown spoke glowingly about him:
Bryant, the associate athletic director for football operations, who serves as Texas Coach Mack Brown’s buffer, confidant and mind reader. Bryant takes late-night phone calls from players in trouble and is a constant resource for the players from their recruiting visits until graduation.
In March, Bryant was abruptly fired as an an employee of the University. The news didn’t trickle out until June. Texas papers never could nail down the reason for his firing, but something had smelled sinister since October, when an unidentified female at the University made a complaint about him.
California-based attorney Gloria Allred, who has handled numerous high-profile cases, said she is representing a woman who was a former part-time athletic department employee “in reference to Mr. Bryant.”
Uh-oh. Bryant, who is married (his wife works as a counselor in the Life Skills office of the University), had been a Longhorn employee since 1998 and previously worked at the school in the early 90s, so obviously the media took it easy on one of Mack Brown’s guys. According to the Statesman, Bryant was making $237,000 a year.
Thankfully, ESPN did the necessary digging, because the details on why Bryant was fired are reprehensible.
• That during a July 2010 meeting in Bryant’s office about whether she would receive a raise, Bryant pulled down the top of her dress and bra and fondled her breast.
• That Bryant repeatedly either told her in person or texted her that “I want to kiss you.”
• That Bryant retaliated after she told him to stop texting by creating a false allegation that she had acted inappropriately at a minor league baseball game she attended with some former Texas football players.
• That one day while in the break room, getting a bottle of water, Bryant came in, stood in front of the door as she started to leave and said, “Kiss me.” Arena said she turned away and Bryant kissed her on the neck before she could leave.
• That two other female office workers alleged that Bryant had inappropriately kissed them in the past.
• That another woman in the athletic department referred to Bryant as “old-freak-nasty” and that he once told Arena “he wanted to touch me, that he wanted to pleasure me, that he could, that he could make me happy, referring to sexually, things like that.”
How could Mack Brown’s “buffer, confidant and mind reader” be treating people in the athletic department like this? Did Mack Brown know that his right hand man was nicknamed “old-freak-nasty?” Bryant has denied all of the allegations, but clearly, the University decided it made the most sense to pay Miss Arena to keep this from going to court. We’ll close the story on this note:
Allred said Arena’s complaint with the university has since been settled, declining to say for how much. She added that Arena is not pursuing a criminal complaint but would not say the reason why. Arena, who declined to be interviewed, no longer works at the university.