Texas suspends coach Chris Beard after arrest for assault

Texas suspended men’s basketball coach Chris Beard “until further notice” after he was arrested Monday morning on domestic violence charges.

“The University takes seriously issues of interpersonal violence involving members of its community,” the school said in a statement. “Based on the information available, the University has suspended Chris Beard from his position as Men’s Basketball Head Coach and will withhold his salary until further notice.”

Associate head coach Rodney Terry will serve as interim head coach for Monday night’s game against Rice, the school said.

Beard, 49, was arrested by police in Austin, Texas, and sentenced at 4:18 a.m. CT on a third-degree charge of “assault of a family/household member, obstructing traffic of the breath” or strangulation. He was released from Travis County Jail at 2:44 p.m. after posting cash bond. Beard’s bond had been set at $10,000.

Beard is permitted to communicate with the alleged victim in a non-threatening manner, must remain 200 yards from the residence where police were called and told he could not possess a firearm.

Austin police told ESPN they received a “disruptive” call and officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Vista Lane shortly after midnight Monday. The Austin Police Department website defines a “hotshot” call as “incidents in progress that pose an immediate threat to life and/or public safety. …These calls are dispatched immediately.”

Beard’s attorney, Perry Minton, told the Austin American Statesman that Beard “is 100% innocent of these charges.”

“He should never have been arrested,” Minton told the newspaper. “The plaintiff wants him released immediately and all charges dismissed. This is truly inconceivable.”

Texas, ranked seventh overall in the Associated Press poll, is 7-1 and off to its best start in years.

Beard is in his second season of a guaranteed seven-year contract that pays him more than $5 million a year. Prior to that, he was 112-55 in five seasons with Texas Tech. He was named Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2019 as he guided the Red Raiders to a 31-7 finish and lost in an overtime thriller to Virginia in the national championship game.

His departure for Texas left Texas Tech officials frustrated. Beard said it was a tough decision, but he couldn’t turn down a chance to coach at his alma mater, where he was a student assistant three decades ago.

Earlier this year, Beard led Texas to a first-round win over Virginia Tech, the Longhorns’ first NCAA Tournament win since 2014.

Beard’s contract includes a provision that he can be terminated for cause reasonably determined by administration that misrepresents the coach, program, school or university system. This includes being charged with a crime.

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello, Pete Thamel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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