UA just sent out press release announcing Anton Beard will return to the Razorback basketball program following a suspension for the fall semester. That means he should be back in time for SEC play.
The semester ends December 18, so it appears he will be able to return following that date. Arkansas plays Mercer in North Little Rock on the 19th. Beard is a Central Arkansas native who played at North Little Rock High School.
Beard was suspended in July following forgery charges, and according to UA, all legal and campus judicial processes have been resolved.
Beard’s legal case has been referred to the Washington and Madison County Drug Treatment and Diversion Court, where he will participate in a pre-adjudication program. As part of the program, Beard must meet the requirements outlined by the court. Non-compliance with the conditions or any additional inappropriate activity, as deemed by the court, may result in expulsion from the program. Successful completion of the program would result in the dismissal of the case.
Dustin Thomas, the transfer from Colorado who was also charged in the same incident, remains suspended.
"After being notified that both the legal and campus processes had taken their respective courses, we moved forward with our student-athlete conduct process and informed Anton he will be withheld from competition for the remainder of the first semester. These were serious allegations and we treated them as such. All of our student-athletes have a responsibility to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times. That will continue to be our expectation."
"We have taken this matter extremely seriously within our program. Now that this matter has been resolved, we look forward to having Anton rejoin our program for practices and team-related activities. This is an opportunity for him to have a second chance and hopefully he has learned a life lesson through this process. We have a responsibility to teach and educate our young men and hopefully he will live up to the expectations we have set before him. Our student-athletes will continue to be held to the highest standard on and off the court."
Beard earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team last season. His return will certainly boost Arkansas' depth in the backcourt, where Jabril Durham, Anthlon Bell, Dusty Hannahs, and Jimmy Whitt have been sharing most of the minutes through the early games so far this season.