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MTSU head coach dismisses football players amid animal cruelty case

Two Middle Tennessee State University football players have been suspended amid an investigation by Murfreesboro Police for animal cruelty. PHOTO: MGN

UPDATE (4/14) Middle Tennessee State University's head coach dismissed two football players being investigated by Murfreesboro Police for animal cruelty.

Head coach Rick Stockstill released the following statement Friday.

"When confronted with situations of inappropriate conduct, it is easy for a coach to simply dismiss players in trouble without taking time to study the situation. I feel it is important to consider the facts carefully, and seek input from others with information and expertise, before reaching a decision.

"After reviewing the matter further, and speaking with authorities with the appropriate expertise, I have decided to dismiss Justin Akins and Shalom Alvarez from our football team. Their actions were in violation of the values and standards of our program.

"I appreciate the work by the Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services and Murfreesboro Police Department. Their expertise was invaluable in this process and will help educate our players."

______________________________

Two Middle Tennessee State University football players have been suspended amid an investigation by Murfreesboro Police for animal cruelty.

According to the original incident report filed by Murfreesboro Police, the report was filed after a Snapchat video posted to Justin Akins' account allegedly showed a small puppy being struck several times.

The report states a male subject pulled the puppy out from under a bed, grabbing the puppy "at or about the neck" and hitting the puppy in multiple areas of the body. The puppy can be heard yelping in pain with each strike.

The video also displayed the comment "N**** said you don't pay rent."

The report identifies Shalom Alvarez -a linebacker on the team- as the subject striking the puppy. The report was filed earlier this month by a concerned citizen who viewed the video.

MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro released the following statement:

“The actions captured on this video are obviously disturbing. We welcome the inquiry by the Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services. We have high expectations of conduct for our student-athletes. Coach Stockstill has suspended these players until the inquiry is complete and they will perform community service to the benefit of local animal welfare efforts.”

See the report below or CLICK HERE.


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