Texas OC Major Applewhite Reportedly Had Inappropriate Relationship with Student
Major Applewhite, the Texas Longhorns' co-offensive coordinator and former quarterback, admitted to a past inappropriate but consensual relationship with an adult student sometime during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 3, at 7:41 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
This scandal is leading to a review of policy at the University of Texas. The Associated Press reports:
University of Texas regents Sunday ordered a review of policies regarding inappropriate relationships between employees and students after a two-hour, private telephone meeting to discuss incidents involving assistant football coach Major Applewhite and former women's head track coach Bev Kearney.
---End of update---
Texas has called a special meeting of the board of regents for Sunday to discuss personnel matters, "regarding legal issues concerning individual athletic personnel" and "legal issues related to inappropriate relations between employees and students."
Applewhite released this statement Friday night:
Several years ago, I made a regretful decision resulting in behavior that was totally inappropriate. It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter. Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with [athletics director] DeLoss Dodds. I was up front and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved four years ago with the university.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds released a statement on Friday night in regard to the incident. Here are the details of the statement, courtesy of Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com:
“Major Applewhite engaged in inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student one time during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities," said Dodds in the statement. "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.”
Aside from the counseling that Applewhite was required to take part in, Carter Strickland of ESPN reports the following:
The university froze Appelwhite's salary from Feb. 5, 2009—almost immediately upon learning of the behavior and discussing it with Applewhite—until Jan. 1, 2010.
This isn't the first instance of a Texas coach having an affair with a student, as former women's track coach Bev Kearney resigned in January as a result of a similar offense.
Applewhite has been a part of head coach Mack Brown's staff since 2008, which was a year before his inappropriate relationship occurred, according to the statement.
Before his time at Texas as both the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Applewhite served as the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse in 2005 and as the co-offensive coordinator at Rice University in 2006, followed by a stint with the Alabama Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban in 2007.
Longhorns fans best remember Applewhite for his time as the team's quarterback from 1998-2001, where he became well known for his late-game heroics and the numerous school records he broke.
Applewhite is married, and the couple have a daughter who was born Jan. 2009, according to his Texas bio.
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