Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard suspended without pay after assault arrest

University of Texas men’s basketball head coach Chris Beard was arrested and charged with assaulting a family member early Monday. He was released after posting $10,000 bail.

The Longhorns’ sophomore coach has been suspended by UT without pay “until further notice,” according to a statement. Associate head coach Rodney Terry will be Texas’ head coach for Monday night’s game against Rice.

Austin police spokesman Brandon Jones said Beard was charged with suffocating a person at a home in West Austin’s Tarrytown neighborhood. Officers responded to an “urgent” 911 call at 2:07 a.m. Monday.

Beard was taken to the jail at 4:18 a.m., according to Travis County Sheriff’s Jail records. He is facing a third-degree count of assault on a family/household member obstructing airflow.

UT released a brief statement on the arrest this morning, saying, “The university is aware of the situation regarding Chris Beard. We continue to gather information and monitor the legal process.”

Who is Chris Beard? What do we know about the Texas men’s basketball coach and his arrest?

Beard’s attorney, Perry Minton, told the American Statesman: “Coach Beard is 100% innocent of these charges. He should never have been arrested. Plaintiff wants his immediate release and all charges rejected. It’s really amazing.”

According to Beard’s affidavit, an officer responded to a 911 call just after midnight and was met at the door by a woman who identified herself as Beard’s fiancĂ©e. The woman told police she and Beard had been upset for several days due to relationship issues. Asked by the officer if the fight got physical, the woman said, according to police, yes.

“He just made fun of me and got super violent,” she said, according to the affidavit.

The woman said she took Beard’s reading glasses from his hand and broke them. Beard, she told police, then knocked the glasses off her face.

Then “Beard choked me, threw me out of bed, bit me, bruised my entire leg, threw me down and drove me crazy,” she said, according to the affidavit.

Chris Beard
Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard was arrested early Monday and charged with assault on a family member. He was booked into Travis Country Jail and his bond was later set for $10,000. credit=”Austin Police Department”

The woman told police Beard put an arm around her neck while he was behind her and choked her for five seconds, preventing her from breathing.

Beard, while police were at the scene, said he had audio recordings of the incident which show he was not the primary assailant. Police said Beard was unwilling to share the recordings.

The following injuries were visible on the woman, according to the affidavit: a bite mark on the right forearm, an abrasion on the right eyebrow, an abrasion on the left leg from knee to foot, and a cut on the left thumb with dried blood. In an additional statement, the woman complained of scratches to her back and right eye, a bite wound to her right arm, abrasions, and bruises to her left leg, and a cut to her hand. left.

Beard and the woman have been together for six years and engaged for three, according to the affidavit. They share the same residence.

Beard, 49, is in his second season in Austin. Before replacing Shaka Smart in 2021, he spent five seasons at Texas Tech and led the Red Raiders to the 2019 NCAA Championship Game. Beard, who also coached at Fort Scott Community College, Seminole State College, McMurry University, Angelo State, and Arkansas-Little Rock, graduated from UT in 1995.

When he was hired at UT in 2021, Beard was given a seven-year contract with an annual salary of $5 million.

A clause in the contract allows the university to terminate or suspend Beard for “Any conduct (a) which the administration of the university reasonably considers to be clearly unbecoming of a head coach and which reflects poorly on the university, the program or the University of Texas system; or (b) that results in charges being laid against the Head Coach involving a felony or any felony involving theft, dishonesty, or moral turpitude.”

This is a standard clause in UT coaching contracts.

The board is not. The No. 7-ranked Longhorns (7-1) played out an 88-43 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Saturday.

Terry, who is in his second stint as a Longhorns assistant, previously served as head coach at UTEP (2018-21) and Fresno State (2011-18). He first coached in Texas from 2002 to 2011 on the team of former UT coach Rick Barnes. Beard’s staff also includes assistant coaches Brandon Chappell and Bob Donewald Jr. and Chris Ogden, who is the team’s CEO and served as UT-Arlington’s head coach from 2018-21.

This is a developing story; come back for updates

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