University of Texas Associate Athletics Director for Football Operations Fired for Harassment
Cleve Bryant, former associate athletics director for football operations for the University of Texas, was dismissed from the University last March after a university investigation determined that Bryant sexually harassed then 24-year old, Rachel Arena, an administrative assistant who worked in the football department.
Documents obtained from the investigation reveal Arena’s allegations against Bryant:
• During a July 2010 meeting in Bryant’s office about whether she would receive a raise, Bryant pulled down the top of Arena’s dress and bra and fondled her breast.
• Bryant repeatedly told Arena in person or via text that “I want to kiss you.”
• Bryant retaliated against Arena after she told him to stop texting her by creating a false allegation that she acted inappropriately at a minor league baseball game she attended with former UT football players.
• Bryant, while in the break room with Arena one day, stood in front of her and said, “Kiss me.” Arena turned away and Bryant kissed her on the neck.
• Two other female office workers alleged that Bryant had kissed them in the past.
Bryant, who is married, has denied all of the allegations. Bryant also appealed his firing, but university officials have not commented on the appeal, nor will they discuss any aspects of this story. The school investigator’s report to the school president states that “Mr. Bryant suggests that Arena contrived her story because she had been denied an $11,000 raise . . . This investigator does not believe that Ms. Arena was denied a raise for other than legitimate business reasons, but also does not believe that she invented these incidents over a two-year period.” The report went on to state that “this investigator does not find Mr. Bryant credible.”
Arena further contends that the harassment began shortly after she was hired in 2008. She started getting sexually charged texts from Bryant allegedly discussing “where [she] was going, what [she] was wearing... if [she] went home with anyone and about [her] sex life.”
Arena filed a formal complaint of sexual assault and sexual harassment with the university’s Office of Institutional Equity in October 2010. Arena has since settled her complaint with the university for an undisclosed amount and will not be pressing criminal charges. Arena’s attorney Gloria Allred stated that: “It appears that some female employees of Texas athletics may be afraid to come forward because they fear that if they file a complaint, that they may be retaliated against and lose their job.”
More information regarding this case is available at ESPN.com.