The termination letter for Texas basketball coach Chris Beard noted that Beard “did not understand the significance of the behavior he knows he engaged in.”
Media in the Austin area secured a copy of a letter that accompanied the termination notice that Texas’ VP for legal affairs sent to Beard and his personal attorney on Thursday.
The letter revealed that Texas gave Beard a “short window” to resign but didn’t have a preference. The letter also noted that Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte called Beard on Thursday morning.
It also pointed out to Beard and his attorney that there was “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.”
The letter also revealed that Texas received a letter from Beard’s attorney that morning.
“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 impair his ability to effectively lead our program. This lack of self-awareness is yet another failure of judgment that makes Mr. Beard unfit to serve as a head coach at our university.”
Beard was fired Thursday having been suspended without pay since mid-December due to pending felony assault charges that stemmed from a domestic dispute with his fiancée.
On Dec. 12, Beard was suspended indefinitely after reports surfaced that he had been arrested for assaulting and strangling a woman, who turned out to be his fiancée. “The University takes matters of interpersonal violence involving members of its community seriously,” the university said in a statement at the time.
However, his fiancé is told a different story after the fact.
On December 23, Randi Trew put out a statement, according to Tony Plohetski of the Austin American-Statesman, saying, “Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends, and the University of Texas, among others. As Chris’ fiancée and biggest supporter, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize that my frustration, when breaking his glasses, initiated a physical struggle between Chris and myself. Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. Chris has stated 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. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time.”
According to a report from Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Texas was seeking to fire Beard for cause and in doing so would negate any responsibility in the money that Beard was due with his new contract. Before the 2021-22 season, Beard signed a contract with Texas for seven years, $35 million through 2028.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard