Coach Bev Kearney, the former track and field coach for the women’s team at the University of Texas, was forced out in 2012. It was discovered that she had once had a relationship with a student-athlete in 2003. According to her lawyer, Derek Howard, UT has a culture allowing such relationships. Mr. Howard claims they know of 10 inappropriate relationships between UT staffers and subordinates. If true and if those employees compare to Bev Kearney’s situation, then that would constitute good evidence that Ms. Kearney was treated differently. See San Antonio Express News report.
Title VII does not allow or approve of coaches breaking the rules. But, if the rule is a rule in name only, then management needs to have a very good reason for a termination. Otherwise, it will look like discrimination. The key will be whether the UT "staffers" will compare adequately to Coach Kearney’s situation. Usually, that means there should be the same supervisor involved – whoever allows these inappropriate relationships to continue should be the same person. Showing good comparisons between different employees can be complicated. If the "staffers" are in different departments with different supervisors, then it becomes very complicated.
Coach Kearney has fled a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They must allow the EEOC 6 months to "investigate" (or not) before they can file suit. This case has a higher profile than others, but a great many EEOC complaints are very much like Coach Kearney’s complaint.