Well, this is interesting.
In a joint release that came completely out of left field, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Longhorns offensive coordinator Major Applewhite stated that Applewhite engaged in inappropriate, albeit consensual, behavior with an adult student during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl trip.
“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.”
Here’s Applewhite’s statement:
“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 DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved four years ago with the University. Through counsel I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us. I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment it has caused my friends, family, and the University. I appreciate all of them. I’ve learned and grown from this and look forward to my work at Texas.”
The incident happened roughly four years ago when Applewhite was serving as UT’s running backs coach, so why is this coming out now? That’s up to interpretation, but for what it’s worth the University of Texas’ Board of Regents has called a special meeting to discuss 1) Personnel Matters Relating to Appointment, Employment, Evaluation, Assignment, or Duties of Officers or Employees and 2) Consultation with Attorneys Regarding Legal Matters or Pending and/or Contemplated Litigation or Settlement Offers.
Also, as the Dallas Morning News points out, the statement comes just weeks after UT track and field coach Bev Kearney resigned because of a previous relationship with a female student-athlete.
As it appears today, the two cases seem different. We’ll probably find out soon enough if that’s true or not, but exactly who Applewhite had the inappropriate relationship with in terms of their role within the program could be an important factor in this situation moving forward.
(Applewhite statement courtesy of Bob Ballou, KEYE Sports)