University of Texas Fires Chris Beard After Felony Domestic Violence Charge
CBS Sports - January 6, 2023 7:08 am
University of Texas Basketball Coach Chris Beard fired.
Texas has fired basketball coach Chris Beard, the program announced Thursday, nearly a month after he was arrested on a third-degree felony assault charge for allegedly strangling, biting and assaulting his fiancée in their home.
“The University of Texas has parted ways with Chris Beard,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “This has been a difficult situation that we’ve been diligently working through. Today I informed Mr. Beard of our decision to terminate him effective immediately.”
The Longhorns suspended Beard indefinitely without pay on Dec. 12. He had not been allowed around the team since that date. “The University takes matters of interpersonal violence involving members of its community seriously,” the university said in a Dec. 12 statement.
If fired for cause, an avenue source told CBS Sports that Texas was exploring, Beard would not be entitled to any salary or buyout money from the seven-year, $35 million contract he signed with the Longhorns ahead of the 2021-22 season. The contract was set to run through 2028.
Randi Trew, Beard’s fiancée, told police the night of the incident that Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts” as part of her statement in the arrest report.
Eleven days later, on Dec. 23, Trew recanted her original statement. Through her lawyer, Trew claimed to be the initiator of the “struggle.” She said Beard did not strangle her the night she called 911 in the early hours of Dec. 12 and that she did not tell police otherwise, despite what is contained in the arrest report. Trew did not refute that Beard acted in self-defense that evening.
Police documented visible wounds and signs of struggle on Trew’s body when they interviewed her on Dec. 12. The arrest report noted that Trew told Austin Police, “I could not breathe; he did it probably for like 5 seconds.”
In recanting her statement, Trew said, “It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted.”
As of Thursday, the felony charge against Beard has not been dropped by the local District Attorney’s Office in Austin Texas. Beard has an emergency protective order active against him until at least Feb. 10, 2023. The order precludes him from being within 200 yards of his home and fiancée.
Beard’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 18.
A Texas alumnus, Beard was hired to massive fanfare in April 2021 after five successful seasons at Texas Tech. No. 6 Texas stands at 12-2 winning five of six games under interim coach Rodney Terry since Beard’s suspension. The Longhorns play at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
“We thank Coach Rodney Terry for his exemplary leadership both on and off the court at a time when our team needed it most,” Del Conte added. “We are grateful he will remain the acting head coach for the remainder of the season. We are proud of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, who throughout this difficult time have continued to make us proud to be Longhorns.”