A member of the Mississippi State football team has been suspended after his arrest on animal cruelty charges related to allegations he left a Great Dane locked in a room without food or water for at least three days.
Head Coach Joe Moorhead devoted a full 30 seconds to the incident in an 11-minute press conference Wednesday, stating little more than that offensive lineman Michael Story was indefinitely suspended as soon as the team learned about the charges.
Police in Starkville apparently did not reveal much about the incident either.
Both the name of the complainant and the address of the home where the incident occurred were redacted in the police complaint, which made no mention of any reasons Story might have had for sequestering the dog.
Story was charged Saturday on a misdemeanor count of aggravated cruelty to a cat or dog, WTVA reported.
The complainant told police that Story “shut Kodak the Great Dane in the back room of his apartment and did not feed or water Kodak the Great Dane since Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, until Aug. 18, 2018. Mr. Story then stated at a later time that Kodak the Great Dane had been in the bedroom of the apartment for roughly a week’s time.”
At a press conference on the final day of training, Coach Moorhead answered questions about training and the outlook for the team before a reporter asked, “What is Michael Story’s status with the team?”
“I’d rather just meet this out in front of it,” the coach answered, but his subsequent remarks shed little light on what happened.
He confirmed that Story had been suspended indefinitely as soon as the charges became known.
“We talk to our team all the time about our decision-making and our conduct off the field, and that’s something we certainly stress everyday. The discipline of this will be handled accordingly,” he said.
He added no more, and the next question was, “What’s the rotation at cornerback?”
You can watch the full press conference here.
Story, a junior from Ripley, was practicing as a second-team left guard early in preseason camp. He started twice as a freshman in 2016 but hasn’t started since.
(Associated Press photo by Michael Woods)