Hall of Fame track and field coach Bev Kearny resigned from her position on Saturday, after admitting to an affair with an athlete.
Kearny told school authorities that she had engaged in an affair in 2002 with a University of Texas at Austin athlete. The affair lasted over two years according to reports; the name of the athlete involved was not revealed.
In a written statement provided by the school's legal affairs department, Patti Ohlendorf stated that Kearny was a good person, but that she had made a "terrible mistake" and executed "unacceptably poor judgment."
"You destroy yourself. You start questioning how could you make such a judgment," Kearney has said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. "How could you make such an error after all the years? You can get consumed (by it)."
Kearny has been the track and field coach at UTA since 1993. Throughout her career she achieved six NCAA Championships and inspired many after an auto accident, which left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down in 2002. After being told that she would never walk again, Kearny managed to stand on her own in just four months. Within the same year she moved to using a walker and now keeps only a cane to stabilize herself.
"When they told me I was paralyzed, it went in one ear and out the next ... because I had to get up and coach," she told CNN during an interview after the accident.
A number of Internet users argued that it was unnecessary for Kearny to resign for an affair, with a consenting adult, that occurred 10 years ago.
"I think Ms. Kearney's wrong about it being wrong, unless some important details aren't in the story. If Kearney manipulated the athlete in some way or played favorites, yes, it's wrong," Josh Swanson wrote on a CNN blog. "If it was just two adults having a relationship, I couldn't care less, and neither should the school."
Others respected Kearny for her decision to step down and accept responsibility for her actions.
"Her integrity is enhanced by her decision," another user intoned.