Middle Tennessee dismissed two football players from the team on Friday amid an animal cruelty police investigation into a video of the men allegedly striking a dog.
Blue Raiders defensive lineman Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez were first suspended by head coach Rick Stockstill on Wednesday after Murfreesboro, Tenn., police were contacted by a concerned citizen of a video on Akins’ Snapchat account showing him allegedly hitting a puppy four times.
“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,” Stockstill said in a statement Friday. “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.”
The dog did not belong to either player, according to WSMV-TV in Nashville. There have been no arrests or charges thus far in the investigation.
–Former Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis received a two-year, show-cause penalty from the NCAA for unethical recruiting actions.
According to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, Davis provided “false or misleading information about impermissible recruiting contacts.”
Davis resigned under pressure as Alabama’s defensive line coach on April 29, 2016. He now holds the same position at Texas-San Antonio.
Alabama was assessed a self-imposed $5,000 fine and disassociated itself from a booster in Texas, identified as the mother of a then-Alabama student athlete.
As part of the ruling, Davis is prohibited from recruiting off campus until April 13, 2019. Davis had a long history with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban — being hired by Saban at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and twice at Alabama.
–Alabama safety Deionte Thompson turned himself into authorities after an arrest warrant was issued in relation to a charge of felony aggravated assault in Texas.
Thompson was excused from Friday’s spring practice festivities by coach Nick Saban to “cooperate with law enforcement in this matter.”
Thompson is one of four people under suspicion in connection with an assault during spring break that left an 18-year-old man severely beaten.
According to published reports, Noah Frillou was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion and broken bones in his face, nose and eye sockets during the incident at Crystal Beach near Galveston.
Thompson and three of his former West Orange-Stark High football teammates from West Orange, Texas are suspects in the beating. KBMT-TV in Beaumont, Texas identified the other suspects as Morris Joseph, Rufus Joseph and Daletredricc Wolfford.
–Former Clemson defensive tackle Scott Pagano announced he is transferring to Oregon.
As a graduate transfer, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound Pagano will be eligible for the 2017 season. He chose Oregon over Oklahoma.
Pagano recorded 31 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 12 games (four starts) for the Tigers last season. In three years at Clemson, he made 92 tackles in 31 games (13 starts).