Major’s mistake


Marisa Vasquez

Recently promoted co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds both released statements last Friday regarding “inappropriate, consensual” behavior with a student during the days leading up to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. (Daily Texan file photo)

Shabab Siddiqui

Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite engaged in “inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student” in 2009, according to a statement released by UT men’s head athletics director DeLoss Dodds on Friday night.

The incident took place during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, when Applewhite served as running backs coach. The identity of the student was not revealed.

“Several years ago, I made a regretful decision resulting in behavior that was totally inappropriate,” Applewhite said in a separate statement also released Friday night. “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.”

According to a letter obtained by The Daily Texan through the Texas Public Information Act from Dodds to Applewhite dated Feb. 5, 2009, the department froze Applewhite’s salary for the rest of the year and required him to schedule an initial session with a licensed professional counselor.

“As we discussed, some of your conduct in Arizona during the Fiesta Bowl week was inappropriate and falls below the standards we expect of our coaches and staff,” Dodds said in the letter.

Applewhite’s admission comes on the heels of the resignation of Beverly Kearney, former women’s track and field head coach. Kearney admitted in October to an “intimate consensual relationship” in 2002 with an adult student-athlete in the track and field progra. The University placed her on administrative leave before notifying her in January that it was prepared to begin the termination process, at which point she resigned.

Dodds said in his statement released Friday that he believes the appropriate discipline was taken in regard to Applewhite.

“In determining appropriate discipline, we analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the behavior and its relation to job responsibilities,” Dodds said. “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.”

Applewhite, a former Longhorn quarterback, joined the coaching staff in 2008 as an assistant head coach before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator in January 2011. He became the sole offensive coordinator after Bryan Harsin accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas State in December.

Applewhite said he and his wife, Julie, worked to put the incident behind them through counseling.

“I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this experience,” he said. “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.”

Published on February 4, 2013 as "Coach pardoned".