Notre Dame Football: Former Standout Prince Shembo Released by Falcons After Animal Cruelty Charge


More trouble for the former Irish standout

After what the organization went through with Michael Vick in 2007, the Atlanta Falcons were swift in their decision to cut ties with former Notre Dame linebacker

Prince Shembo

. Expected to be an integral part of their defense, the Falcons will need to find another option, as Shembo will look to clear his name after being charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

The charges stem from an incident last month with his then-girlfriend Denicia Williams. She called police on April 19 to report that her boyfriend had killed her dog. According to reports, she had taken her yorkie, Dior, to Shembo’s apartment on April 15. She then at some point left Shembo alone with the dog. When she returned, she found the dog unresponsive.

Williams took the dog to a nearby animal hospital, where he died not long after. When she spoke to Shembo over the phone the following day, he admitted to kicking the dog, and she ended their relationship over the phone.

A necropsy was done on the dog, and investigators spoke to Shembo on several occasions while awaiting those results. After receiving them on Friday, they decided to issue a warrant for Shembo’s arrest based on inconsistencies with his story as well as the results of the necropsy.

The dog suffered injuries well beyond that of a single kick, including a fractured rib, abdominal hemorrhage, head trauma and eye injuries as well as bruising of the muscles in the front legs and shoulders.

After being drafted in the fourth round by Atlanta in the 2014 draft, he saw significant playing time as a rookie, and was expected to move to outside linebacker this season.

It’s another questionable chapter in the character of Shembo, who was also investigated in the sexual assault of Lizzy Seeberg in 2010. He was never charged, but Seeberg took her own life 10 days after the incident by overdose of the antidepressant Effexor.

It’s a sad bit of news, as we never want to believe those who have attended Notre Dame are capable of such actions. But nobody is perfect. People make terrible decisions no matter what school they attend. Hopefully, Shembo will in time be able to redeem himself similar to Vick.