Texas fired head coach Chris Beard less than a month after he was arrested on a domestic assault charge, the school announced Thursday.
“This has been a difficult situation that we’ve been diligently working through,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement obtained by the Daily Texan Sports’ Hunter Dworaczyk. “Today I informed Mr. Beard of our decision to terminate him effective immediately.”
The school suspended Beard indefinitely without pay after his Dec. 12 arrest. Beard was fired for cause, according to Kirk Bohls and Ryan Autullo of the Austin American-Statesman.
Beard’s seven-year contract included a provision under which he could be fired for cause if he engaged in conduct that reflects poorly on himself or the school, including being charged with a felony, according to The Associated Press.
The coach’s fiancee issued a statement to the Associated Press on Dec. 23 in which she said she told police Beard didn’t strangle her. She added that she believes he was acting in self-defense and that she never intended for him to be arrested or prosecuted.
Beard’s attorney released a statement following the coach’s firing, courtesy of CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein:
Chris Beard is crushed at the news he will not be coaching the University of Texas. At the outset of Coach Beard’s suspension, The University promised they would conduct an independent investigation surrounding the allegations and make a decision regarding his employment only after they had done so. They proceeded to terminate Coach Beard without asking a single question of him or his fiancé. Since the arrest, there have only been positive developments clearly demonstrating his innocence. Additionally, it is my opinion shared by others that any potential charges against Coach Beard will be declined very soon. This is in addition to the statements made by his fiancé that emphatically state that the original reports were inaccurate. I am concerned that the University of Texas has made a terrible decision against the interest of the University, based on Twitter feeds and editorials – and not the facts concerning a truly innocent man. The University has violated their agreement with the coach and we are devastated.
The 49-year-old was in his second season at Texas. He finished with a 34-13 record.
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