Vela suspension begins; women's soccer team has upcoming wine tasting event

Updated: 08/25/2014 10:32 PM | Created: 08/25/2014 10:00 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

University of New Mexico women's soccer coach Kit Vela's unpaid suspension began Monday, a week after 22 members of the team were discovered to have hazed younger players by forcing them to binge drink and strip to their underwear.

Monday, the community also received an official apology from the players, who Vela cannot have any contact with this week.

"We are deeply sorry that we disappointed the Albuquerque, University of New Mexico and Lobo Athletic communities. What you may have seen in the media coverage the last week is not who we are. As student-athletes, we will use this as a learning opportunity -- not only for ourselves, but also for us to be of assistance to others. Going forward, we will do everything we can - both as a team and as individuals - to represent Lobo Athletics in the best possible light both on and off the field. We love our school, our community and our state. Thanks to our fans who have been faithful supporters. We earnestly hope that you will continue to support us as we work to earn your trust," read the statement.

Police say two of the alleged hazing victims were so drunk they had to be taken to the hospital.

The UNM Athletic Department has not explained which specific rules they think Vela broke, and didn't confirm if she had knowledge of the hazing.

KOB also discovered a flier advertising a wine tasting event on behalf of the women's soccer team coming up at Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse. For $40 you can taste wine and get a wine education.

UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs said he is aware of the upcoming fundraiser and is still weighing whether or not he should call it off.

Kit Vela

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