WAC member New Mexico State suspends men’s basketball for the rest of the season
Reading Time: 2 minutes New Mexico State shuts down its men’s basketball program for the year with six games remaining amidst hazing allegations within the program.
*Content Warning – This story contains accounts of sexual assault and hazing. viewer discretion is advised.*
On Feb.10 Western Athletic Conference member New Mexico State University suspended all men’s basketball operations until further notice while investigating “potential violations of university policy,” per USA Today. Sources told the media that “hazing” allegations towards fellow teammates were the reason for the suspension.
Just two days after the suspension of the program, NMSU announced that they will cancel the rest of their season with six regular season games remaining. The decision came after a police report obtained by KTSM-TV found that three players are facing a trio of offenses, including one count of false imprisonment, one count of harassment, and two counts of criminal sexual contact.
“As I’ve stated previously, hazing has no place on our campus,” stated Dan E. Arviu, NMSU Chancellor. “Those found responsible will be held accountable,” via USA Today.
In the witness report the three members of the basketball team allegedly, “held [the victim] down with him facing down, removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to ‘slap his ass.’” The officer’s report continues, “He also went on to state that they also touched his scrotum.” The victim alleges that the inappropriate physical and sexual touching by his teammates had been an ongoing issue inside of the NMSU program, per KTSM.
On Feb. 14 NMSU head coach Greg Heiar was fired after his team faced their second allegation of the season. The first happened three months after forward Mike Peake shot and killed a University of New Mexico student in what police called self-defense, per ESPN.
Chancellor Arviu said decisions about the rest of the coaching staff will be made after further investigation. No decision has been made on the three athletes facing offenses as of Feb. 21.
The news comes just a year after NMSU won the Hercules Tires WAC Tournament Championship and shocked the world with a first-round upset of #5 UConn in the NCAA Tournament.
The Aggies finished the season 9-15 and 2-10 in conference play including a 77-72 loss to Utah Valley University in Orem on Jan. 28. The Aggies finished last place in the WAC.
Josh is a senior at UVU, studying Communications and graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Communications in Spring 2023. Along with writing for the Review, Josh is a member of UVU’s PRSSA Chapter. Josh will be pursuing sports media after his time at UVU is complete.