The day after domestic violence charges against him were dropped, former Texas basketball coach Chris Beard made his first comments on the circumstances Thursday, expressing his remorse.
“I am pleased with the announcement that the charges against me have been dismissed. While I always have had faith and confidence in the truth and this outcome, it has been extremely challenging to wait patiently and not publicly respond,” Beard said in a prepared statement.
“I’m sorry and deeply remorseful to my family, friends, all my players and staff both most recent and past, and everyone at my alma mater The University of Texas, including the fans and supporters who were affected by this situation.
“I would also like to thank all those who have reached out to express encouragement and love during this difficult time.”
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said in a statement Wednesday that “our office has determined that the felony offense cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Beard was arrested on Dec. 12, 2022, and charged with assault by strangulation/suffocation — family violence. Texas fired him on Jan. 5.
James E. Davis, the university’s vice president for legal affairs, wrote in a letter to Beard’s attorney that Beard was “unfit to serve as a head coach at our university.”
Rodney Terry has been acting head coach for the Longhorns since Beard’s dismissal.
Beard was suspended Dec. 12, the same day he was arrested in the early morning hours after police responded to his home to investigate an “emergency threat to life” domestic call.
Beard, who turns 50 on Saturday, was arrested and booked on felony domestic violence charges as police revealed the call came from Beard’s live-in fiancee.
Beard was suspended without pay and, per a clause in the $35 million deal he signed before last season, Beard’s firing “with cause” fully absolves Texas of financial obligation, the university contended. A letter from Davis to Beard’s attorney, Perry Q. Minton, spelled out that the school’s move to dismiss the coach wasn’t based on the potential for criminal charges.
“It is his actual behaviour that we consider, not whether some acts also constitute a crime. Whether or not the District Attorney ultimately charges Mr. Beard is not determinative of whether he engaged in conduct unbecoming a head coach at our university,” Davis wrote. “There seems to be an incorrect underlying assumption that the criminal process outcome dictates Mr. Beard’s employment outcome. But these are different processes, where different decision makers are weighing different factors.”
Per a police report, the woman told police that Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.”
In a statement issued 11 days later, she said that she told law enforcement that Beard had not attempted to strangle her.
“Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Beard had led Texas to a 7-1 record at the time of the incident. The Longhorns are currently 20-6 (9-4 Big 12) and ranked No. 6 in the country under Terry. They play at Oklahoma on Saturday. Beard was in his second season coaching the Longhorns.
Beard went 112-55 in five seasons as head coach at Texas Tech before being hired away by Texas. He led the 2018-19 Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament title game, falling to Virginia, 85-77 in overtime.
Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.
Join the Conversation