Longhorns' assistant football coach Major Applewhite "engaged in inappropriate consensual behavior with an adult student one time during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities" and was disciplined for it, Texas men's athletic director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement Friday night.
Dodds' statement was released by the university at about the same time a statement was released by Applewhite, currently the Longhorns' offensive co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach, in which he acknowledged making "a regretful decision resulting in behavior that was totally inappropriate."
The release of the statements came about a month after Longhorns women's track and field coach Bev Kearney's forced resignation after UT learned of a consensual relationship she had with an adult student-athlete that began in 2002 and ended in 2003.
Applewhite, the former UT quarterback, was the Longhorns' assistant head coach and running backs coach when Texas defeated Ohio State in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.
In his statement, Dodds said he learned of Applewhite's situation shortly after the bowl game and "took immediate action to review the situation."
"Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined," Dodds said. "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."
In a Feb., 2009 letter from Dodds to Applewhite, released Friday night by Applewhite, Dodds said Applewhite's salary would be frozen until Jan. 1, 2010.
"We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives," Dodds said in his statement. "I believe that the appropriate discipline was taken in this case."
Meanwhile, the UT System Board of Regents has scheduled a rare Sunday meeting by telephone to discuss a number of items in closed session.
The regents' agenda includes a discussion of employee matters, including athletics personnel; consultation with attorneys "regarding legal issues concerning individual athletics personnel" at the Austin campus; and a discussion "regarding legal issues related to inappropriate relationships between employees and students" concerning the UT System generally. The agenda says no action will be taken at the meeting.
The UT System issued a statement late Friday night from regent chairman Gene Powell and Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa expressing "great disappointment and sadness" that they learned "a short time ago" about the 2009 reprimand, although they didn't mention Applewhite by name.
"At our direction, the General Counsel to the Board has posted notice of a special called meeting of the Board on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd, so that the Board can be fully briefed on issues related to this matter in executive session.
"We expect our coaches to adhere to the highest standards of conduct and lead by example," Powell and Cigarroa added. "However, until such time as the Board can fully understand the background surrounding this event and its moral and legal implications, we will have no further public comment."
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