Tennessee suspends cornerback after domestic assault charge

Sports

FILE -In this Sept. 22, 2018, file photo, Tennessee’s Bryce Thompson (20) returns a kick in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida in Knoxville, Tenn. Thompson has been arrested on a domestic assault charge stemming from an argument with his girlfriend. A woman told police the argument began Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, after she found another woman’s fake eyelashes in Thompson’s room. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee suspended cornerback Bryce Thompson on Monday following his arrest on a domestic assault charge.

Coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement Thompson will be out “while the process continues.” Pruitt added that players are held to a “high standard” and the “safety of all students is our first priority here at Tennessee.”

Thompson was arrested Saturday night after his girlfriend told police they began arguing when she found another woman’s false eyelashes in the player’s room. Witnesses told police they heard Thompson threatening to slap a woman.

One witness said he heard Thompson yelling he would “shoot up the school.” Another witness told police he also heard a man yelling about plans to “shoot up the school” but said he couldn’t see who was saying that because his view was blocked.

Police say Thompson acknowledged arguing with the woman but denied making physical contact with her or issuing any threats.

The woman told police she couldn’t remember the “entirety of what had occurred” during the argument because it was a “stressful, volatile situation.” She said Thompson has a bad temper and had punched walls during previous arguments.

The suspension leaves Tennessee without one of its top returning defensive players heading into its season opener Saturday with Georgia State.

Thompson, a sophomore from Irmo, South Carolina, made 10 starts last season. He had three interceptions and seven pass breakups to lead the Volunteers in both categories.

Pro Football Focus, which grades and analyzes every player, gave Thompson the highest grade of any true freshman cornerback in the nation last season.

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