After being named a suspect in the investigation of an alleged rape in April, Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson was cleared by Knox County District Attorney Charme P. Allen in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s the complete statement, which was dated Aug. 5:
Pearson was placed on “interim suspension” by the University shortly after he was named a suspect in the spring. He’s remained in that status ever since. Coach Butch Jones confirmed on Monday, before the news of Pearson’s legal clearance, that the suspension was both a University and a football suspension. Jones was also asked on Monday, hypothetically, if Pearson would be cleared to return to the team if he were cleared of charges.
“That’s all speculation,” Jones responded. “Again right now nothing has changed, and we’ll continue to address the situation as it does change.”
As expected, Pearson was not on the practice field when the Vols opened fall camp on Tuesday evening. Tennessee returns to the practice field on Wednesday, though no representatives of the team are scheduled to speak to the media following the practice session.
Pearson, a Newport News, Va., native and 2014 junior college transfer had a solid first-year campaign in Knoxville during his junior season, fighting off an ankle injury that cost him three full games and portions of others. He still managed to finish second on the team in both receptions (35) and yardage (393), while leading the team with five touchdown receptions.
We’ll continue to update this story with any information from Tennessee or Pearson’s attorney as it becomes available