Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders

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MTSU line coach Rick Mallory recovering from heart attack

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A health scare has hit the coaching staff of Rick Stockstill (pictured) at Middle Tennessee State.

On his Facebook page, the wife of MTSU offensive line coach Rick Mallory detailed what appears to be a significant medical event for her husband.  In the posting, Mallory’s wife, Shannon, confirmed that the coach “suffered a heart attack and spiral arterial tear within an artery near his heart while doing a strenuous workout [Monday] afternoon.”

The entire update was posted on Stockstill’s Twitter page.

Just when Mallory will be able to return to the football program is decidedly unclear. The team has yet to comment publicly on Mallory’s status moving forward.

The 57-year-old Mallory, the father of six, has been an assistant at MTSU since 2013. He coached tackles and tight ends the first three seasons before moving into his current role as line coach in 2016.

Prior to that, he was the line coach at Memphis from 2000-09 and an assistant at Washington from 1992-99 before that.

Middle Tennessee State dismisses the two players involved in puppy-beating video

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A disturbing off-field incident has proven very costly for a pair of FBS players.

Two Middle Tennessee State football players, fifth-year senior defensive end Justin Akins (pictured, No. 91) and redshirt junior linebacker Shalom Alvarez, found themselves involved in a burgeoning controversy, with a social media video leading to a police investigation into animal cruelty.  Alvarez, who is seen in the video hitting the puppy multiple times, and Akins, on whose social media account the video of the beating appeared and can be heard saying “[expletive] said you don’t pay rent,” were suspended by the football program in the wake of the incident.

A statement from MTSU’s athletic director sent out Thursday night gave no indication that the two players were in jeopardy of losing their spots on the team.  Less than 24 hours later, however, a statement from head coach Rick Stockstill confirmed that both players have been dismissed from the football program.

Below is Stockstill’s statement, in its entirety:

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.

After beginning his collegiate career at Georgia Tech, Akins transferred to MTSU following the 2013 season.  He’s played in all 26 games the past two seasons, starting one of those contests.  Last season, he led all Blue Raiders defensive linemen with four pass breakups.

In his only season with the program, Alvarez didn’t play a down in 2016.

MTSU AD issues statement in wake of disturbing puppy-beating video

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You have to be a special kind of soulless to beat a woman or a child.  Not far behind?  Beating a puppy.

The latter is the disturbing situation two Middle Tennessee State football players, defensive lineman Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez, find themselves in, with a social media video leading to a police investigation into animal cruelty.  While the Snapchat video seemingly disappeared into the Internet ether, it has been saved.

You can view it by clicking HERE.

Alvarez, who is seen in the video hitting the puppy multiple times, and Akins, on whose social media account the video of the beating appeared and can be heard saying “[expletive] said you don’t pay rent,” were suspended by the football program in the wake of the incident. Thursday night, MTSU’s athletic director, Chris Massaro, felt compelled to release a statement addressing the incident.

“The actions captured on the 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 until the inquiry is complete and they will perform community service to the benefit of local animal welfare efforts.”

Middle Tennessee players investigated and suspended for Snapchat video of puppy being beaten

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Middle Tennessee defensive lineman Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez have been suspended by the football program as they are being investigated for alleged animal cruelty.

The alleged cruelty was seen in a Snapchat video. In it, Alvarez was allegedly seen hitting a puppy four times. The Snapchat account belonged to Akins and was reported to police by somebody who had seen the video on the social network.

According to the Associated Press, Middle Tennessee athletic director Chris Massaro said the images seen in the video were disturbing. Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill suspended the players for the duration of the investigation, which is a standard protocol. The two players will reportedly have to perform community service for local animal welfare groups.

Akins played in 13 games last season for the Blue Raiders, recording 27 tackles.

Middle Tennessee promotes Austin Silvoy to receivers coach

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Middle Tennessee State is staying in house to fill a void at wide receivers coach. Austin Silvoy has been promoted to the coaching position after serving the 2016 season as a quality control coach for head coach Rick Stockstill.

The Middle Tennessee State assistant coaching job will be Silvoy’s first at the FBS level, although he has some coaching experience under his belt with Florida Tech of the Gulf South Conference and the University of Central Oklahoma. The year of experience with the Blue Raiders will also ensure he is familiar with the players and what he has to work with in 2017.

“Austin was with our staff last year in an off the field position and did an excellent job,” said Stockstill in a released statement. “I was impressed with his work ethic, communication skills and how he understood our offense. He will also do a great job in recruiting.”

Silvoy played college football for a Middle Tennessee rival, Troy. Silvoy played receiver for the Trojans from 2007 through 2010, catching 45 passes and six touchdowns. He was a part of five Sun Belt championship teams with Troy and hopes to bring some of that success to Middle Tennessee.

“I played against Middle Tennessee when I was at Troy and always respected Coach Stockstill and the program,” said Silvoy. “Joining his staff on a full-time basis is like a dream come true because he is one of the best in the business.”

Silvoy replaces Kez McCorvey, who was fired at the end of the 2016 season.