Texas fires Chris Byrd over domestic violence allegations

AUSTIN, TX (AP) — Texas fired basketball coach Chris Beard, who is facing domestic violence charges in connection with a Dec. 12 incident involving his fiancée, when the school told his lawyer Thursday that Beard was “not right” for the position.

Byrd had five years left on a seven-year guaranteed contract that included a clause where he could be fired for good cause if he was charged with a felony or committed other behavior that was inappropriate for his position or badly reflected on the university.

A charge of domestic strangulation/suffocation carries a possible prison sentence of two to 10 years if found guilty; the woman told police that Beard strangled and bit her, but later denied he strangled her.

Beard has been suspended without pay since his arrest, and school officials have said an internal investigation is underway.

The university’s vice president of legal affairs, Jim Davis, wrote in a letter to Byrd’s attorney Thursday that Byrd’s behavior is “unacceptable, making him unsuitable for a job as a head coach at our university.” According to Davis, prosecutors’ continuation of the case does not determine whether Byrd committed school inappropriate behavior.

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