Texas men's basketball coach Chris Beard arrested and charged with assault

Update as of Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023:

University of Texas men's basketball coach Chris Beard was arrested early Monday morning on a felony domestic violence charge.

Beard, 49, was charged with third-degree assault on a family or household member/impeding breath circulation, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

An Austin Police spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that they received a Priority 1 "disturbance hot shot call" at 12:15 a.m. The Austin Police Emergency Communications website defines hot shot calls as "incidents which are in progress and are an immediate threat to life and/or public safety."

Officers were then dispatched to a home on the 1900 block of Vista Lane in Tarrytown, an upscale Austin neighborhood near the UT campus. According to the Austin Police Department, the officers then "located a woman who stated she had been assaulted and strangled by Christopher Michael Beard."

Baseline Group LLC is listed as the current owner of a home in the 1900 block of Vista Lane, according to the Travis County Tax Office. Christopher Beard is listed as the head of that group, according to OpenCorporates.

According to the arrest affidavit obtained by The Austin-American Statesman:

"A woman told police Beard 'choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.' She said the choking lasted for five seconds and impeded her breathing, police say.

"Chris Beard told police that he has audio recordings showing he was not the primary aggressor. He was asked if he would be willing to share those audio recordings to which he said no."

In a statement, the University of Texas said it is "aware of the situation regarding Chris Beard."

"We are continuing to gather information and monitoring the legal process," the statement said.

Perry Minton, Beard's Austin-based attorney, did not respond to a message from Yahoo Sports seeking comment. In a statement released to multiple Austin-based media outlets, Minton said, "Coach Beard is 100 percent innocent of these charges. He should have never been arrested. The complainant wants him released immediately and all charges dismissed. It is truly inconceivable."

Beard was booked into Travis County Jail at 4:18 a.m and remained in custody into the mid-afternoon. He answered no questions from reporters as he and his attorney exited the jail shortly before 3 p.m. local time and climbed into the back of a waiting silver SUV.

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, Beard appeared at a bond hearing, handcuffed and clad in a black-and-gray-striped prison jumpsuit. Bail was set at $10,000 on the condition that for two months Beard does not go within 200 yards of the alleged victim or the Vista Lane home. He has the right to communicate with the victim from afar as long as it's not in "a threatening or harassing manner."

Chris Beard (Austin Police Department)
Chris Beard (Austin Police Department)

Texas hired Beard on April 1, 2021, giving him a massive seven-year, $35 million contract to return to his alma mater and revive its underachieving men's basketball program. Beard was hailed as a home-run hire after leading Texas Tech to the Elite Eight in 2018 and the national title game in 2019.

The combination of Texas' brand and Beard's coaching and recruiting prowess quickly returned the Longhorns to national relevance. Texas was off to its best start in years this season, 7-1 overall and ranked No. 2 in the latest AP Top 25.

Beard will not coach Monday night's game against Rice, according to The Austin-American Statesman's Cedric Golden. Assistant coach Rodney Terry will take Beard's place.

The standard contract for a Texas coach includes a suspension and termination clause. This gives the university the right to suspend or fire a coach with cause for "any conduct (a) that the University administration reasonably determines is clearly unbecoming to a Head Coach and reflects poorly on the University, the Program, or The University of Texas System; or (b) resulting in a criminal charge being brought against Head Coach involving a felony, or any crime involving theft, dishonesty, or moral turpitude."

— Jay Hart contributed to this story

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