KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson won't face criminal charges in connection with the rape investigation in which police had named him as a suspect.
Knox County district attorney general Charme Allen issued a statement Wednesday in which she said that ''after a thorough review of the investigation, I have decided there is insufficient evidence to sustain a criminal prosecution against Von Pearson.''
Pearson has been suspended from the team since Knoxville police issued a report April 24 that named him as a suspect. Tennessee coach Butch Jones and Pearson's lawyer, Chris Coffey, have said that Pearson also has been suspended from school. Tennessee vice chancellor Margie Nichols declined comment and said she can't discuss any type of student disciplinary process.
''It is our hope that the university, based on this new development, will do the right thing and lift the suspension of Von Pearson immediately,'' Coffey said Wednesday in a statement released via email.
Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said Wednesday that Pearson's status hasn't changed.
''We are aware of the outcome of the District Attorney's office and we should garner more information over the next couple of days,'' Robinson said.
Pearson caught 38 passes for 393 yards and had a team-high five touchdown receptions last season despite being hampered part of the year by an ankle injury that caused him to miss two games.
Pearson, a senior from Newport News, Virginia, arrived at Tennessee last year after playing two seasons at Feather River College in Quincy, California.