Two Middle Tennessee State University football players under investigation for animal cruelty have been dismissed from the team by Head Coach Rick Stockstill, the school announced Friday.
A video posted to MTSU player Justin Akins’ Snapchat account last month shows fellow teammate Shalom Alvarez hitting a puppy, according to our sister affiliate WSMV in Nashville.
Stockstill provided the following statement:
"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."