Missouri State University wasted little time—a matter of hours, as USA Today reports—in suspending sophomore quarterback Breck Ruddick, after allegations emerged that he beat a friend's dog so badly that the animal lost multiple teeth and suffered a shattered jaw. The school says it's investigating what it frames as "conduct detrimental to the team," and says the redshirt won't return "until the situation is resolved," reports the Springfield News-Leader. "It’s obviously very serious," says the school's director of athletics. "Not only athletics, but the entire university takes it very seriously. That’s why there will be an internal investigation conducted by our Student Conduct office. We’ll take it from there once we find out what the findings are."
The investigation revolves around a Facebook post Friday in which a woman charged that Ruddick beat the 42lb Australian shepherd named Luca; she also posted photos of the injured animal, which she claims Ruddick let loose afterward, so that Luca's owner couldn't find him for a day. (The graphic photos are here.) A Change.org petition to have Ruddick permanently kicked off the team has 15,000 signatures so far. (Read more animal abuse stories.)