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. Officers were then dispatched to a home on the 1900 block of Vista Lane in Tarrytown, an upscale Austin neighborhood near the UT campus.
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." Priority 1 calls are those "that have just occurred and the offender is still in the area."
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.
Beard remained at the Travis County jail as of 11 a.m. ET, according to Kristen Dark, senior public information officer for Travis County Sheriff's Office. Bail had not yet been set since Beard had not yet seen the magistrate judge.
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 immediately respond to a message from Yahoo Sports seeking comment. In a statement released to multiple other 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."
Texas hired Beard on April 1, 2021, giving him a massive 7-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.
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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