The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders dismissed football players Justin Akins and Shalom Alvarez from the team on Friday afternoon following accusations of animal cruelty stemming from Akins’ Snapchat of Alvarez abusing a dog.
Akins played 13 games this past season and was tied for 13th on the team with 27 tackles. Alvarez joined the team last season, but didn’t see action in any games.
Head Coach Rick Stockstill released the following statement regarding the dismissals from the team:
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.”