Jeremy Pruitt announced Tennessee football sophomore cornerback Bryce Thompson has been suspended indefinitely. That’s an easy move by the Volunteers.
After the arrest and misdemeanor domestic assault charge of Tennessee football cornerback Bryce Thompson over the weekend, it was pretty clear he was going to have to face some penalty. The question was what it would be.
On Monday, though, Jeremy Pruitt released a statement that the Vols sophomore, who was a freshman All-American in 2018, would be suspended indefinitely until the situation played out, according to Patrick Brown of GoVols247. Let’s be honest. That was the easiest move possible.
We already know Thompson was arrested after an argument with his girlfriend in a dorm room. But, beyond anything else, we also already know that he was not initially entirely truthful with police. According to reports, Thompson changed his story about breaking a metal gate that resulted in a nearby wall being damaged.
So, if the reports are true, Thompson has already gotten caught lying to police and admitted to destroying property. Combine that with the arrest itself, and even if the case stops there, Tennessee football has more than enough to suspend him.
Now, I’m not saying Pruitt was wrong to hand out the indefinite suspension. After all, you have to wait until the facts of a case play out. But a quote he released saying that the Vols hold their players to a “high standard” isn’t proven with this suspension. This was a no-brainer.
It also helps Pruitt that Warren Burrell, a freshman, has made major strides in fall camp at cornerback and Alontae Taylor is still on the other side. So even from a football perspective, this is a super easy decision. And we haven’t even gotten to the most damning charges yet.
According to Chris Low, there are multiple witnesses saying he threatened to slap the girl he was arguing with, and two witnesses heard a threat to “shoot up a school,” one of whom clearly alleges it was Thompson. Now, Thompson is denying he made any physical threats. However, his credibility is already damaged by not being truthful with police in other areas.
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We might also point out the unlikelihood of on-campus witnesses in a University of Tennessee dorm room making up something like that to keep one of Tennessee football’s top players from playing this year. Seriously, what’s the incentive to lie unless the witnesses, keep in mind that’s plural, have an axe to grind? Simply put, this looks bad for Thompson.
What works in Thompson’s favor is that there is no accusation of actual physical violence yet. As a result, it’s also the right move to not kick him off the team, assuming this is the first offense. And we don’t know of any others.
However, if the physical threats are true, well Thompson then has to be suspended the full season and take anger management classes. He needs to feel the effects of this and get help immediately. Otherwise, the next incident could be more than just threats. And it could hurt lots of people, Thompson included.