Two Auburn Players Accused of Harassing an Air Force Veteran
WTVM, a news station located in Columbus, Georgia, has released a report stating that Auburn's head football coach, Gus Malzahn, issued an apology to a female Air Force veteran for comments made by his players.
According to the report, the victim, Ashley Ozyurt, was approached by two Auburn football players while on her way to class Tuesday morning.
Ozyurt, 25, suffers from PTSD as a result of sexual assault during her time in the military. As a result of this assault, Ozyurt has a service dog with her at all times.
Tuesday night, she shared her story with the Columbus news station.
At 10:30am today I walked into the Halley Center on my way to class. As I was walking I heard people behind me whistling and making kissing noises at my service dog. I ignored it like I usually do for about 10 feet and they didn't not stop. I turned around and said to two Auburn University football players "Please don't distract my service dog." Player number [omitted] moved towards me and proceeded to yell, "What do you want? HUH? Whats wrong with you, nobody's bothering YOU. What are you gonna do? HUH?" I opened my mouth but no words could escape. My hyperventilating only seemed to fuel their verbal assault. When I didn't speak, my service dog began to drag me away from the situation, one of them yelled, "THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT [expletive]!"
At that point, in front of dozens of people, my PTSD took over and I withered to a crying mess. I went to the nearest safe place, the Office of Accessibility and reported the student's football numbers that they were wearing their FB sweat suits and backpacks. [omitted], the main attacker, and his hype man [omitted]. I attempted to attend my first class, but after 30 minutes of crying and humiliating myself further, I knew I needed to get home.
Ozyurt said that Malzahn called her to apologize, and told her that the situation would be handled.
Although WTVM did not identify the players, a Facebook page called Service Dog Memes identified them as Nos. 79 and 95. Numbers worn by freshman defensive lineman Dontavius Russell and Andrew Williams, respectively.
The investigation is ongoing, but Auburn's Director of Communications, Mike Clardy, intends to find answers.
"Auburn University condemns any behavior that is demeaning to those with disabilities," Clardy said. "We're investigating the reports and will take all appropriate action once all the facts are known."