Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson is a suspect in an alleged rape investigation in Knoxville, the Knoxville Police Department said Friday afternoon. Pearson has not been charged with any crimes at this time, and the police are currently investigating the story.
According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, the incident in question was reported early Friday morning and police have interviewed the alleged victim and several potential witnesses. Police have already contacted the Sexual Assault Center as the investigation gets underway.
Pearson was Tennessee’s second-leading receiver last fall behind Pig Howard. Pearson recorded 393 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 11 games.
This is not the first time this spring a Tennessee player has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Earlier this month offensive lineman Coleman Thomas had a felony theft charge dismissed. Former defensive lineman Michael Sawyers was soon charged with the same offense. Sawyers was actually dismissed from the team in February by head coach Butch Jones for a violation of team rules.
Tennessee’s spring game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Given this recent report, it may be safe to assume Pearson will not participate in it as the legal process plays out. At this time, Tennessee has not issued any statement on the situation or Pearson’s status with the program.
UPDATE (6:27 p.m.): Tennessee has suspended Pearson from all team activities.