Ex-track coach's lawyers to question ex-top Texas officials

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 4:49 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

A former University of Texas president, former athletic director and former football coach Mack Brown all are scheduled to be questioned under oath next week in a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced out after the school learned she had a romantic relationship with one of her athletes a decade earlier.

Kearney's attorneys have identified former President Bill Powers and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Brown as key figures in how the school reacted to Kearney's relationship and how its disciplinary response differed from actions taken against former football assistant Major Applewhite, who was allowed to stay on the job and later promoted despite a relationship with a student trainer on a team bowl game trip after the 2008 season.

Kearney, who is black, was forced to resign in 2013 under threat of being fired. Applewhite, who is white, was ordered to undergo counseling, but was allowed to keep his job. He was later promoted and stayed on Brown's staff until Brown was forced out after the 2013 season. Applewhite, who also played quarterback at Texas, is now the head coach at Houston .

Kearney's lawyers have questioned why the school publicly announced Kearney's discipline, but Applewhite's incident, which school officials have called consensual, didn't surface until nearly five years later when the Daily Texan student newspaper filed a public records request for his personnel file. University regents said they didn't know about the Applewhite incident until 2013.

"Why did Texas sweep the misconduct of Applewhite, a white male, under the rug, but publicly punish Kearney, an African-American female? It's time for the decision makers to explain themselves," Kearney attorney Jody Mask told The Associated Press.

Dodds and Powers are scheduled to be deposed Monday and possibly into Tuesday. Brown's deposition is scheduled for Tuesday. All three are still on the Texas payroll and have been represented by school attorneys.

School officials have said Kearney "crossed the line" as a coach with her relationship with a student athlete.

"All actions taken by Texas were lawful and appropriate" the school said in a statement Friday. "We are continuing to respond to this lawsuit through the proper legal channels and will not discuss it through the media."

Applewhite didn't immediately respond to a request for comment made Friday through the University of Houston.

Kearney was one of the most successful women's track coaches in the country and was considered for a significant raise in 2012 until the 2002 relationship with one of her runners was reported to school officials. She now lives in California.

Kearney's lawyers are accelerating evidence gathering after a two-year delay. Witness interviews had been on hold while the university pursued appeals to block the lawsuit. Those moves began shortly after Kearney's lawyers first informed Texas they would seek depositions from Dodds, Powers, Brown and others, including women's athletic director Chris Plonsky. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June the lawsuit could proceed.

Applewhite is the only person deposed so far. His interview and documents previously released to Kearney's lawyers were sealed by a court order, requested by the university on the grounds that it was needed to protect private student information. It is likely the school seeks to keep the latest round of depositions private as well. Kearney's lawyers have said they will ask the trial court to lift the protective order.

Kearney's lawyers have said they are willing to discuss settling the case. Texas has already spent about $500,000 to defend the lawsuit, according to financial records obtained by the AP.

Current track coach Mario Sategna took personal leave in 2016 and was later placed on administrative leave as the school conducted an ethics and conduct investigation.

The reason for the investigation was never made public. Sategna was allowed to return to work in January after the school said its concerns had been addressed. The state attorney general's office has ruled school officials can keep the results of that investigation secret.

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Trump to speak at CPAC: What time, what channel, who else is speaking?

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:37 AM

WATCH: President Trump Speaks at CPAC

President Donald Trump is scheduled to address an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday.

Trump is set to begin speaking around 10:05 a.m. ET at the gathering of conservative activists being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, D.C.

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CPAC, hosted by the American Conservative Union, is held annually.

Trump has spoken at CPAC before – at the conferences held in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He skipped the conference in 2016 while he was campaigning for president. 

Click here to read his speech from 2017.

Trump’s speech will be carried live by cable news networks. CPAC is being broadcast on CSPAN and CSPAN 2.

Here is the schedule of speakers for those following Trump on Friday:

  • 11:55 a.m. – White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; Small Business Administration Administer Linda McMahon
  • 12:30 p.m. – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai
  • 1:35 p.m. – Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
  • 2:00 p.m. – Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Ky.; Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.
  • 3:35 p.m. – British politician Nigel Farage

The full CPAC agenda can be found here

Attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference listen to Vice President Mike Pence speak on Friday, February 22, 2017. (Associated Press).
(AP)

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Michael B. Jordan responds to criticism about him living with his parents

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:12 AM

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13:  Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios'
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" hosted by The Cinema Society on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Michael B. Jordan had a quick response for one person on Twitter who criticized his living arrangement.

On a Feb. 6 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Jordan said he still lives with his parents.

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“I love my parents, but we have a roommate relationship right now, which is interesting,” Jordan, 31, said. “You get home-cooked meals, but then you also have random trips to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Just the random run-ins that just might be a little uncomfortable from time to time.”

For Jordan, that included his mother seeing him “sometimes shirtless, maybe a little naked.”

Related: Michael B. Jordan reveals what he had to give up for ‘Black Panther’

Mashable reported that the “Black Panther” star replied to a Twitter user who took issue with him living with his parents and his interest in anime, the latter of which has been documented by Nerdist.

“Michael B. Jordan is a 5’9” adult man that loves anime and lives with his parents,” the Twitter user named Chris wrote. “Y’all told me all of those things were unacceptable though.”

“First of all, I’m 6 feet and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name,” Jordan replied.

Jordan also name-dropped some popular anime characters: Goku, from “Dragonball Z,” and Natuto, of the anime series of the same name.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

WATCH: Hero German Shepherd Takes Bullet for Teen in Home Invasion

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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