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The Clarion Ledger

Why Ole Miss AD Keith Carter is 'very confident' in Chris Beard hire despite dropped charges

By David Eckert, Mississippi Clarion Ledger,

2023-03-15
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OXFORD — The "due diligence" conducted by Ole Miss in the leadup to its hiring of new basketball coach Chris Beard brought the university to the conclusion that the events that led to Beard's arrest on Dec. 12 were not accurately reported, Rebels AD Keith Carter said Tuesday.

Speaking inside the SJB Pavilion media room after Beard's introduction, Carter said that Ole Miss was "extremely thorough" in its review of Beard, who was fired as Texas' coach in January. An affidavit from Austin police said Beard's then-fiancee, Randi Trew, told police Beard choked her, bit her and caused her other bruises and abrasions. In a later statement, Trew said she told police that Beard did not strangle her. The charges were dropped after Beard was fired from his post in Austin.

"Those allegations we take very, very seriously, obviously," Carter said. "And it's so important that we gained a clear understanding of that situation. What we learned was that the initial reports were not an accurate reflection of the events that happened. We had multi-level conversations with a number of people surrounding that night, and coach Beard was extremely transparent in our discussions with him."

Asked whether he had spoken with Trew and Austin police, Carter declined to reveal names.

"Out of respect to them, I'm not going to talk about who I spoke with," Carter said. "But it was intensive. It was very thorough. And we spoke with a lot of people to make our decision."

Carter was also asked to address concerns about the perception that hiring Beard might have on Ole Miss athletics and the university.

Carter said he anticipated that some might express those concerns, and again pointed toward the "due diligence" carried out by Ole Miss.

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"People are going to believe what they're going to believe, and some of the things we have to do now is just move forward," Carter said. "For us, we would not be sitting here today if we didn't feel very confident in what we know happened in that situation. ... Yeah, I think people may tend to look at our university in a certain way. But we're going to make decisions that we feel are best and appropriate, and this one we feel very confident in what we did.

"After looking at all the information and learning about the type of person that coach Beard is, we are very confident and excited for him to join the Ole Miss family."

David Eckert covers Ole Miss for the Clarion Ledger. Email him at deckert@gannett.com or reach him on Twitter @davideckert98.

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