Second-year Tennessee defensive player Ryan Thaxton was arrested on charges of domestic assault and false imprisonment on Sunday night, and Tennessee announced that Thaxton was immediately suspended from all team activities following the arrest. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was asked about that incident at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
“The first thing is we spend once a week in a wellness class about how to treat the opposite sex, drugs, alcohol, weapons,” Pruitt said to local media at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. “We all are very aware of what went on, and obviously we suspended the guy the other day. We’re not gonna condone it. We’re not gonna, you know, tolerate it.
“Once we gather all the information, we’ll have a little more answers then.”
Tennessee was one of the many schools hit with a Title IX lawsuit back in 2016, and the university eventually ended up settling the multi-million dollar lawsuit with the plaintiffs. Since then, the university has been watched closely whenever any sort of domestic dispute has surfaced with athletes.
The case with Thaxton marked the first such incident under Jeremy Pruitt’s watch. And he made sure everyone knew his stance on domestic violence.
According to police documents obtained by RTI, Thaxton “insisted his girlfriend accompany him into his dorm room and she refused.” It was at that point the report says “Thaxton pushed and carried her towards his room and blocked the door with his body to prevent her from escaping or contacting help.”
Thaxton was arrested but eventually was released on $1,500 bond. It was shortly after that he was suspended from team activities. And according to Pruitt, that won’t change until the investigation is over. Then he and UT will reevaluate things.
Thaxton, a 6-foot-3. 263-pound defender from Alexandria, Virginia, was part of Tennessee’s 2017 signing class and redshirted last season.