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Texas fires Chris Beard amid domestic violence charge

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas fired basketball coach Chris Beard on Thursday, telling his attorney he was “unfit” for the job as he faces a domestic domestic violence charge stemming from a December 12 incident involving his fiancée.

Beard still had five years left on a guaranteed seven-year contract that included a provision that he could be fired for cause if he was charged with a crime or engaged in other behavior unbecoming of his position or that reflected university badly.

The domestic violence strangulation/suffocation assault charge carries a prison sentence of two to 10 years if convicted; the woman told police that Beard choked and bit her, but later denied suffocating her.

Beard had been suspended without pay since his arrest and school officials said there was an internal investigation.

The university’s vice president of legal affairs, Jim Davis, wrote in a letter Thursday to Beard’s attorney that Beard had engaged in “unacceptable behavior which renders him unfit to serve as head coach in our university. Whether prosecutors pursue the case does not determine whether Beard engaged in conduct unbecoming of the school, Davis wrote.

Police responded to an emergency call to Beard’s home after midnight on December 12 and arrested him after Beard’s fiancee, Randi Trew, told officers he had strangled her from behind, had bitten and kicked when the two argued.

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