Texas AD Deloss Dodds released a statement, revealing that offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had a “one-time” affair with an adult student during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl trip and was disciplined for it afterward. According to Applewhite’s bio, this happened just before his daughter was born in January 2009. Texas scheduled an emergency board of regents meeting for Sunday.
“Major Applewhite engaged in inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student one time during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities. After learning of his behavior later that month, I took immediate action to review the situation. We promptly initiated an inquiry with assistance from the university’s Legal Affairs office and other units outside of Athletics. Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined. In determining appropriate discipline, we analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the behavior and its relation to job responsibilities. Major fully accepted his discipline, including counseling. We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives. I believe that the appropriate discipline was taken in this case.”
This may be a bigger story than where Applewhite dips his wick. Texas’ acknowledgement comes in the wake of track and field coach Bev Kearney’s resignation. Kearney was placed on paid leave in November and resigned in January after it was revealed she had a consensual relationship with one of her athletes in 2002. The former student-athlete came forward with the relationship, just before Kearney’s five-year $750,000 contract extension was sent to the Board of Regents for approval.
Texas could be aligning ducks for a legal battle. The prudent step, should Kearney file suit, would be addressing any skeletons her legal team could dredge up suggesting a double standard. It’s hard to find a more compelling one than a prominent, male football coach having a similar dalliance.
Much depends on how Applewhite was affiliated with the student. Kearney’s relationship was with a student-athlete under her tutelage, which is a violation of Texas policy. If Applewhite’s affair was with a student with whom he had no supervisory role, there should be no outstanding issue. If he did have a supervisory role, though, his future employment may be untenable.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]