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NMSU to form task force to fight future hazing, sexual assault incidents

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- New Mexico State University says it plans to launch a task force to prevent hazing. The university's basketball team has been embroiled in controversy since two players claimed they had been sexually assaulted by some of their teammates.

"NMSU has taken extensive measures, including, without limitation: recalling the entire basketball team from their road trip out of state, placing the entire coaching staff on administrative leave, launching an investigation, making mental health counseling available, canceling the remainder of the season, and firing the head coach," university officials explained in a statement Wednesday.

Now NMSU says it will also launch a task force to facilitate the implementation of preventive measures to identify and extinguish future hazing and assault incidents. "The kind of behavior described in those allegations has no place on our campus," the university claimed.

The two players, Deuce Benjamin and Shakiru Odunewu filed a lawsuit earlier this month accusing former head coach Greg Heiar, an assistant coach, three former players, and the university.

According to the lawsuit, Odunewu says he was victimized by the three teammates, Deshawndre Washington, Doctor Bradley, and Kim Aiken Jr., starting in the summer of 2022 and continuing for more than six months. In the complaint, Odunewu alleges the group ripped the shower curtain when he was in the shower and forced him to do squats as they slapped his buttocks while Bradley filmed. Benjamin made similar allegations. You can learn more about the allegations here.

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Emma Hoggard


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