Two MTSU Football Players Suspended After Puppy Abuse Video Surfaces

Editor’s note: Story updated to include dismissal of the two football players.

Two Middle Tennessee State University football players have been indefinitely suspended while they are being investigated by the Murfreesboro Police Department for animal cruelty after one of the players recorded video of the other slapping a puppy repeatedly, according to WSMV.

Defensive lineman Justin Akins recorded the video on his Snapchat account of linebacker Shalom Alvarez, who grabbed the puppy from under the bed and started smacking it.

The puppy can be heard crying out after being hit.

The video’s caption read, “[Expletive] said you don’t pay rent.”

Middle Tennessee State head coach Rick Stockstill released the following statement regarding the video:

I am aware of the situation and have talked to the players involved. The players explained to me that the puppy urinated inside and they were simply spanking it as a form of discipline. They told me there was never any intent to harm the dog. This was an important teaching moment. I talked to them about other approaches that should have been considered in this situation. And I pointed out how disciplining a pet in such a manner could be misconstrued, especially with the impact of social media.

WSMV says they tried to contact Akins to get his side of the story at his college apartment complex but found out he had been evicted last year and was no longer allowed for an incident involving a police shooting. The station also found Akins was arrested in January for resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

Update: Per College Football Talk, MTSU dismissed both Akins and Alvarez from the team amid the investigation. After speaking with authorities, Coach Stockstill decided the players’ “actions were in violation of the values and standards of our program.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent