Tennessee Volunteers suspended linebacker Aaron Beasley indefinitely after animal abuse allegations surfaced Monday.
Beasley, a junior who played in eight games mostly with special teams in 2020, was accused of abusing a 6-month-old cat, according to Knox News. Tennessee released a statement on the issue.
“We have received the incident report from the Knoxville Police Department,” the school said. “Aaron Beasley has been suspended indefinitely from all football team activities as we await further information.”
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An incident report against Beasley was filed on Thursday, the newspaper reported. The incident was still under investigation.
A student at the school claimed Beasley injured the kitten badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room, TMZ Sports reported. A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the cat’s medical expenses revealed gruesome details.
“I came home this morning to find my 6 month old kitten under a dresser hiding and not letting anyone touch him,” the feline’s owner wrote.
“When I picked him up he screamed and couldn’t walk, come to find out my roomates (sic) boyfriend had hit and kicked him, locked him in the toilet bowl, and held him upside down by his tail.
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“We rushed Nugget to the emergency room and he has brain damage and will now have a hard time walking, he has a bleeding hemorrhage on his kidney caused from internal bleeding from being kicked, clots in his bladder, and he is currently in an oxygen tank.”
The GoFundMe didn’t name Beasley as the culprit. But Knoxville police told WBIR-TV they received a report accusing Beasley abusing a Tennessee student’s cat. According to a police report, the cat’s owner and her roommate, who is Beasley’s girlfriend, told officers about what had allegedly taken place.
Beasley and his girlfriend came back to the home and the linebacker allegedly locked the cat in the bathroom after finding it eating leftover food that was in one of the rooms, according to the station. Another roommate who was home at the time reportedly told police she heard Beasley’s girlfriend tell him, “You can’t do that,” and start crying. Hours later, the cat would be let out from the bathroom and it rushed into the owner’s room.
According to WBIR-TV, Beasley’s girlfriend told officers she did not see him hit the cat or put the cat in the toilet. The roommate, however, said she received a text from the girlfriend saying the football player put the kitten in the toilet.
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Beasley has not been charged with a crime.