Photo by Brent Beerends / MT Athletic Communications
Update at 1:16 p.m.: MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro released the following statement about the incident:
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 of our student-athletes. Coach Stockstill has suspended these players [Akins and Alvarez] until the inquiry is complete and they will perform community service to the benefit of local animal welfare efforts.”
Three Middle Tennessee football players are accused of animal cruelty following a Snapchat video sent last week, according to Murfreesboro Police.
According to the report, safety Darryl Randolph, defensive end Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez are under investigation after a Snapchat video originally posted on Akins’ account was sent to a Murfreesboro detective on April 6. The video allegedly shows Alvarez “violently striking” a puppy, identified as Rocko, at least five times. Alvarez is also seen pulling Rocko out from under a bed and grabbing him around his neck while striking him several times on his body while Rocko cries in pain with each strike. The video includes the comment, “N—a said you don’t pay rent.”
After further investigation and partnering with MTSU personnel, officers identified Rocko’s owner as Randolph.
The case is still under investigation at this time, according to Sgt. Kyle Evans.
Sidelines reached out to MTSU Athletics for a comment but have not heard back.
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