Created: 05/06/2014 8:18 AM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4
PORTALES, N.M. -- Seventeen members of a New Mexico college baseball team were arrested after a fight, yet they were still allowed to take the field.
Nearly half the baseball team at Eastern New Mexico University was arrested Friday afternoon for disorderly conduct. According to the arrest warrant, someone was trying to fight a member of the baseball team. His teammates gathered to help him, and a fight broke out in a campus apartment parking lot.
"It was a situation taken completely out of control, it should have never happened, the arrest should have you know never been issued of all things a citation, if anything it's a petty misdemeanor," said Zach Yates, one of the players who was arrested.
According to the players, some of those arrested weren't even involved.
"I was one of the guys that wasn't even there for either of the events," Ryan Forkel said.
"Once the judge signed off on that arrest warrant Friday afternoon, our hands were tied as an athletic department, there was nothing we could do," Athletic Director Jeff Geiser said.
Geiser says all 17 players immediately bonded out of jail for $100 each. Hours later, they won their last game of the regular season. He said those teammates were allowed to play because police have released little info about the fight.
"A lot of teams in that situation where they saw several of their players get arrested 2 hours previously could have folded right there at that point," he said.
The university is doing a separate investigation to determine if the players should be disciplined.
"I have never been arrested before and you know it's a shame because I'm a senior so I'm going into the job market. To have arrests on your record, that's a tough thing to have," Forkel said.