2:39 PM PT -- 4/6 -- A Knoxville Police Dept. spokesperson tells TMZ Sports ... Beasley has been officially cited for animal cruelty after the alleged cat abuse.
According to the official, the citation is a class A misdemeanor ... which means if Beasley's convicted of the crime -- he could face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.
5:00 PM PT -- A Tennessee Athletics spokesperson tells TMZ Sports Aaron Beasley has been suspended from all team activities while the investigation is underway.
"We have received the incident report from the Knoxville Police Department," the school said Monday. "Aaron Beasley has been suspended indefinitely from all football team activities as we await further information."
A University of Tennessee student claims a linebacker on the football team badly injured her 6-month-old kitten ... and now, cops are investigating.
The player at the center of the probe is Aaron Beasley -- a former high school star who just wrapped up his sophomore season at UT.
Beasley played in 8 games in 2020 -- but is touted as a potential future star with a high ceiling.
The problem ... a UT student claims Beasley committed some horrific acts of violence against an innocent kitten -- injuring the animal so badly, he, required a trip to the emergency room.
The cat's owner described the situation in a GoFundMe page set up for her pet on Thursday.
"I came home this morning to find my 6 month old kitten under a dresser hiding and not letting anyone touch him."
"When I picked him up he screamed and couldn’t walk, come to find out my roomates boyfriend had hit and kicked him, locked him in the toilet bowl, and held him upside down by his tail."
"We rushed Nugget to the emergency room and he has brain damage and will now have a hard time walking, he has a bleeding hemorrhage on his kidney caused from internal bleeding from being kicked, clots in his bladder, and he is currently in an oxygen tank."
The Knoxville Police Dept. confirmed to WBIR that it received a report of animal abuse involving another student's cat and has opened an investigation into Beasley.
We reached out to the Univ. of Tennessee for comment but so far no word back.
As for the kitten, Nugget's GoFundMe has already raised more than $4,300 to help with the cat's medical care.