Though Bryce Thompson’s domestic assault case is still pending, the starting Tennessee cornerback has been reinstated to resume team activities. On Wednesday, coach Jeremy Pruitt announced that Thompson would return to practice, lifting a suspension on the sophomore dating back to before the beginning of the season.
“As university processes have progressed relating to Bryce Thompson, we’ve all taken this situation very seriously,” Pruitt said in a statement. “I believe Bryce can grow by following the plan the university has put in place for him. As a result, I am allowing him to return to practice.”
Thompson had missed the first two games of the season — losses to Georgia State and BYU — following his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge one week before the start of the season. It is not yet clear if Thompson will play against Chattanooga in Week 3.
He was arrested on Aug. 24 after witnesses told university police that Thompson threaten to “slap the (expletive) out of” a woman with whom he’s in a relationship. Witnesses also said Thompson threatened to “shoot up the school,” according to an arrest report. His case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 23.
According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, a different woman with whom Thompson had a relationship filed a restraining order against him in January 2018 in Richland County, South Carolina. In her complaint, the woman said that Thompson texted her that if she dated another man, he “would kill both me and that other guy.” The woman said she believed Thompson because “he has a history of violence against me and others. He has physically slapped me, choked me, and thrown me around. I fear for my safety, and am constantly looking over my shoulder.”
The woman and Thompson later agreed to a mutual one-year restraining order in April 2018, about one month before he joined Tennessee’s 2018 recruiting class. According to the outlet, it is unclear if Pruitt and Tennessee were aware of the prior restraining order.
As a freshman in 2018, Thompson started in 10 of 12 games and earned freshman All-America honors. He had three interceptions and seven pass break-ups to go with 34 tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
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