Jeremy Pruitt Announces Suspension for Bryce Thompson

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    Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    On Saturday night, Tennessee sophomore defensive back Bryce Thompson was charged with domestic assault after an altercation with a woman with whom he has been in a relationship with for four years. On Monday morning, head coach Jeremy Pruitt announced Thompson’s initial punishment.

    Via a statement from the University of Tennessee, Pruitt has said that Thompson is indefinitely suspended as UT gathers more information.

    “Bryce Thompson is suspended indefinitely while the process continues,” Pruitt said via a release. “We hold our student-athletes to a high standard. The safety of all students is our first priority here at Tennessee.”

    According to a report from WATE 6 in Knoxville, Thompson was charged with domestic assault following an incident on Saturday night in Knoxville.

    According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Thompson and an unidentified woman were arguing at the Stokley Hall Dorms on UT’s campus. Thompson was allegedly overheard threatening the woman, and a witness claims he threatened to “shoot up the school” as well.

    The responding officer says damage to the dorm hall building was seen, and a gate was ripped off its hinges. There was damage to the sheetrock where the gate had apparently impacted the wall. Thompson stated that he fell into the gate, causing it to rip off from its hinges. The sophomore DB also claimed to have fallen down the stairs with the gate, though the arrest report states that there were no marks on Thompson to indicate this happened.

    After being read his Miranda Rights, Thompson admitted that the gate broke as he tried to pull it upwards, and he let it fall down the stairs.

    According to a witness who called 911, Thompson was overheard saying he was going to “slap the (expletive) out of you” to the woman. Officers separated Thompson and the woman involved with the altercation, and one of the officers described Thompson as “extremely upset and agitated” in a stairwell of Stokely Hall.

    Thompson admitted to arguing with the woman, but he denied making any physical contact with her and denied making any verbal threats.

    Both Thompson and the woman involved in the incident confirmed that they have been in a relationship with one another for four years, and the two were engaged in a sexual relationship. The woman confirmed Thompson’s statement about their relationship in her written statement to the officers.

    After receiving statements from witnesses and assessing the situation, Thompson was arrested and charged with domestic assault. No citation was issued for domestic violence. Thompson is scheduled to appear in court on September 3rd for his misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

    Thompson was arrested and released from jail overnight after the altercation.

    As a true freshman, Thompson played in all 12 games for the Vols and made 10 starts. He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and was selected to the 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team. Thompson was one of three true freshmen to earn starts in the secondary for the Vols in 2018.

    Thompson finished his freshman campaign with 34 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack, three interceptions, 10 passes defended, and a forced fumble. He also returned four kick-offs for an average of 25 yards a return.

    Pruitt will address the media in a press conference at noon Eastern on Monday and will likely have more to say on the situation.