Former Texas coach Chris Beard has emerged as the leading candidate for the basketball job at Ole Miss, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

The sides have been in recent contact, sources told ESPN, and Ole Miss officials are in the process of doing their due diligence on Beard.

Beard was fired by the Longhorns in January following an arrest Dec. 12. His fiancée, Randi Trew, called 911 and told officers that he choked her from behind, bit her and hit her when the two got in an argument.

Trew later released a statement on Dec. 23 in which she denied telling police that Beard choked her and said she "initiated a physical struggle" with Beard. On Feb. 15, the charges were dropped after Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza reviewed the evidence and took into account Trew's wishes not to prosecute Beard.