Chris Beard has been fired as the head coach for the University of Texas men’s basketball team a month after being arrested and charged with third-degree felony domestic violence, allegedly against his fiancée.
According to legally obtained documents by the Austin American-Statesman, the university met with Beard and formally requested he willingly resign from his role as head coach amid the scandal regarding his arrest. However, according to other staff, Beard refused and didn’t “understand what he did wrong.”
Beard’s attorney Perry Minton released a statement Thursday morning saying that “I want to be on the record as emphatically stating, and heron memorializing, that Coach Beard has not done anything to violate any provision of his contract with the University of Texas.”
James Davis, Vice President for UT legal affairs, responded shortly after Minton’s statement disagreeing.
“Chris Beard engaged in unacceptable behavior that makes him unfit to serve as head coach at our university. Instead of immediately terminating Mr. Beard, the university exercised thoughtful restraint to allow time for additional material facts to emerge.”
Davis added, “Additionally, your letter this morning reveals that Mr. Beard does not understand the significance of the behavior he knows he engaged in, or the ensuing events that impart his ability to effectively lead our program. This lack of self-awareness is yet another failure of judgement that makes Mr. Beard unfit to serve as a head coach at our university.”
The back and forth between Minton and Davis didn’t stop there. Minton replied again, saying “Your update to me this morning came as a shock, coming so far into this process and after positive developments that firmly support Coach Beard’s declaration that he is innocent of any crime and has not done anything that ‘(a) is unbecoming a head coach and reflects poorly on the University or (b) resulted in felony criminal charges’. He was arrested, then his [fiancée] retracted her previously reported statement, and I expect that the Travis County District Attorney is very shortly going to decline an and all charges in the matter.”
The incident that resulted in Beard’s arrest occurred on December 12, 2022. Reports initially stated that Beard assaulted his fiancée Randi Trew, and that she had told Austin police that he had “strangled her, bitten her and caused her abrasions.” However, Trew would later retract that statement on December 23.
“Chris did not strangle me,” said Trew, “and I told that to law enforcement that evening.”
“Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted.”