NMSU men’s basketball program suspension linked to alleged hazing
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Details of the hazing accusations at New Mexico State University are emerging. On Sunday, campus police released a report that shows one of the men’s basketball players is accusing three teammates of touching him inappropriately.
Those allegations led university officials to announce that the suspension of the entire team will last through the end of the season.
NMSU chancellor Dan Arvizu said, in part:
“This action is clearly needed, especially after receiving additional facts and reviewing investigation reports related to the hazing allegations involving student-athletes on the team. Hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. We must uphold the safety of our students and the integrity of our university. It’s time for this program to reset.”
This statement came less than 48 hours after the hazing was reported to NMSU police.
A redacted version of the police report was released Sunday. It did not name the three suspects or the alleged victim, but the report does give a lot of detail about the abuse the victim says has been ongoing for more than seven months.
According to NMSU police, a basketball player walked into their police station Friday morning, before the team left for California, to report consistent hazing in the locker room.
The police report says in the most recent incident three other players allegedly held him down, took off his pants, and touched him inappropriately “in front of the whole team and no one intervened.”
The offenses listed in the report include harassment, criminal sexual contact, and false imprisonment.
The alleged victim tells police the hazing started last July, and the most recent incident happened last Monday. Plus, the report indicates at least one other player has been hazed in a similar way.
As of right now no charges have been filed. The alleged victim did tell police he does not wish to press charges at this time.
But KOB 4 heard from the NMSU chancellor, who plans on holding those responsible for the hazing accountable for their actions. When asked about specific charges, both university and NMSU police officials say it is an ongoing investigation.
There has been no word from the team either – players and coaches landed Sunday morning after flying back from their canceled game against California Baptist University just to get the news they won’t be playing any more games this season.
While KOB 4 haven’t heard anything from Aggie coach Greg Heiar, there are already calls for him to step down with this being the second scandal involving his team in just four months.
“The door needs to be shown to Greg Heiar and his entire staff to be quite frank with you,” Gallagher said, “I think it absolutely shows a total disregard for institutional control.”
The Board of Regents held an emergency meeting Friday night hours after the police report was filed. The reason for the meeting was to “discuss emerging circumstances that involved alleged policy violations which included a perception of imminent danger to NMSU students.”
According to a notice sent out by the regents, a second emergency meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss personnel matters concerning individual employees and NMSU student safety.