Guardian Caps are foam rubber slipcovers that go over a traditional football helmet. The foam rubber takes the blunt of the force and softens the contact.

According to reporter Heather Hourigan, WSMV News,  two  MTSU football players were suspended by Coach Stockstill today pending an investigation into possible animal cruelty.

In a video posted to Justin Akins’ Snapchat account last month, Shalom Alvarez can be seen hitting a puppy. Both players are now suspended. WSMV broke the story of the video Tuesday night.

According to reports, the students were disciplining the puppy for “peeing inside”.

Athletics Director Chris Massaro announced the suspension Wednesday in a statement:

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 for our student-athletes. Coach [Rick] Stockstill has suspended these players until the inquiry is complete and they will perform community service to the benefit of local animal welfare efforts.

Akins is a fifth year Senior DE and played in every game last year. Alvarez, is a Junior and did not play last year.



  1. What they did was not discipline! You don’t beat an animal for any reason! This is unacceptable treatment of a companion animal and both should be charged with animal cruelty! Why would they be filming this on Snapchat unless they thought beating a puppy is cool or funny?! People like this make me absolutely sick!

  2. Until those athletes learn enough to know that an animal that young cannot control its bodily functions and then are instructed as to how to properly house train an animal, they should be labeled as unfit to own an animal. Personally, I wish their punishment was being beaten with a force proportionally equal to their body mass as they inflicted on that poor tiny creature.


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