Tennessee linebacker Aaron Beasley, who was suspended from the program in early April after allegedly abusing a kitten, has been reinstated to the team after charges were dropped, GoVols247 confirmed Friday. Beasley, a junior, was accused by a fellow Tennessee student of harming her cat, which was treated for a brain injury and internal bleeding.
Beasley has nine career tackles in 17 appearances for the Volunteers, but could be in the mix for regular defensive action this season as first-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel deals with thin depth at the linebacker position. Beasley’s off-field incident and subsequent suspension have been just one in a series of hurdles Heupel has been forced to navigate since leaving UCF for Rocky Top in late January.
A police report stated that Beasley and his girlfriend found the kitten eating some of their food and decided to lock it in a bathroom. Beasley’s girlfriend claimed that the Volunteers linebacker left shortly after putting the kitten in the bathroom, but denied that he hit the kitten. She added that she opened the bathroom door three hours later and the kitten ran into the owner’s bedroom.
Aside from the snafu with Beasley, Heupel dismissed freshman quarterback Kaidon Salter, a top-50 prospect from the 2021 recruiting class, on Thursday after Salter’s second off-field incident. Between the suspension of Beasley and other linebackers as well as outgoing transfers at the position, Tennessee’s linebacker depth got so dire during spring practices that the Vols were down to just one available scholarship player at inside linebacker during spring practices.
Long snapper Will Albright was among those who saw action at the position during the spring because of the depleted depth.