Monday, February 5, 2018

UT (once again) in deep legal doo-doo over Sexual matters in TWO lawsuits....

"He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Proverbs 28:13

Great weekend for UT Athletics.

Not so much on the legal front.

On Friday, we saw the second Title IX lawsuit in six months:
An unnamed student accused of sexual assault is suing UT ahead of a Title IX hearing set for next week. The hearing will decide if he should be punished with a potential two-year suspension.

The student, referred to in the lawsuit as John Doe, is accused of assaulting a female student, referred to as Jane Roe, at a party that took place on April 28, 2017. Doe is being represented by Brian Roark. Roark represented another male student accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit against UT President Gregory Fenves that was settled last November.

The students in the current case were both drinking at the party and left together around 2 a.m. and had sex afterward at Roe’s apartment, according to the lawsuit. The following day, Roe told her friends she blacked out and did not remember anything until “moments just before she and John finished having sex.”

The lawsuit states Doe will not be treated justly in the Feb. 7 hearing because UT amended the Title IX case report three different times after receiving notice of an impending lawsuit. The report was allegedly amended by replacing the word “incapacitation” with “intoxication” in a sentence that originally said a witness observed that Roe was showing signs of incapacitation by acting less “socially inhibited” that she would normally.

Later pages of the report however were not amended to replace the “incapacitation” with “intoxication,” according to the lawsuit.

“If UT can’t get their story straight on what the definition of incapacitation is after months of contemplation and a recent Federal Court suit and public admonitions on the same topic from (a) Federal Judge, how in the world are a couple of hormone filled college students supposed to do it after a night of drinking?” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also said the University’s “bumbling” attempts to amend the use of incapacitation with intoxication in only one instance of the word’s use in the report show its desire to equate the two. If this is the case, and the standard for intoxication is simply “diminished social inhibitions,” then the hearing is “merely a facade for a predetermined conclusion,” according to the lawsuit.
This is awful.  If you don't have a credible system for dealing with this nonsense, you hurt actual survivors of sexual assault.  This enables predators.

But, if that wasn't enough, speaking of the athletic department:
A lawsuit filed by the former women’s track and field coach of the University of Texas could cause widespread embarrassment for current and former university officials.

Former coach Bev Kearney filed the lawsuit four years ago, claiming that the university had discriminated against her by firing her over a decade-old relationship with one of her athletes, while condoning an affair that football coach Major Applewhite had with a student trainer.

Then the case stalled on appeal, but the state Supreme Court ruled last year that Kearney’s discrimination lawsuit could proceed, and her attorneys have been vigorously pursuing potentially embarrassing depositions since then, as the Associated Press reported Monday.

Kearney’s legal claim fires warning shots all over the place, claiming that “other University employees (all of whom are white males) have been involved in relationships with students or direct subordinates and have not been subjected to termination, let alone any meaningful disciplinary actions. These University employees include Major Applewhite (current Co-Offensive Coordinator for the football team) (sic), other coaches within the University’s Athletic Department, current and former law school professors, current and former professors within the University’s undergraduate school, and a department chairperson.”

The reference to the former law school professor is likely an allusion to then-university President Bill Powers, who met his wife of more than three decades when she was a law student of his in the late ’70s, at a time he was married to another woman.

Applewhite has gained an even higher profile since the lawsuit was filed, as he was hired this offseason as the new head coach at the University of Houston. One of his first hires was an assistant coach tarnished by the sexual assault scandal at Baylor University.

Kearney’s court papers claim there are other coaches and officials who either have married former athletes or conducted affairs with employees they supervise. While university policy explicitly permits consensual relationships between an “employee with direct teaching, supervisory, advisory, or evaluative responsibility over other employees, students, and/or student employees,” Kearney claims she was “singled out” as “an African American female” and regarded as different based on a nearly 10 year old relationship.”

In the last two months, Kearney’s attorneys have filed records with the court regarding the depositions of former President Bill Powers, former football coach Mack Brown, and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds.

The university has persuaded the court to seal the depositions themselves for now, but even the brief deposition certification forms hint at more trouble, with Brown revising his interview to make clear that “no arrest or issues brought to me (sic).”
This could get interesting.  We've long suspected, just as a hunch based on their arrogance and entitlement, that there was a lot of this nonsense in the senior levels of the UT leadership.  In the current climate, this could get them in a lot of trouble.

But what's even more mind-blowing is that they're simultaneously being sued for discrimination both against, and in favor of, white men.  For these two cases to be occurring alongside each other is a textbook example of how making up arbitrary standards out of thin air always comes back to haunt you.  If UT had clear and consistent standards as it relates to these matters, neither of these lawsuits would be occurring.

Bottom Line: Yes, they really are this incompetent.

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