NMSU Men’s basketball program shut down as one player is accusing three of his teammates of ‘hazing’ him in front of the entire team on numerous occasions
Incident Report #2023-1202_Redacted (1) by YVONNE on Scribd
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- According to a police report by NMSU Police, one member of the NMSU Men's Basketball team was 'hazed' in the NMSU Men's locker room at the Pan American Center by three members of the team for the past six months.
The police report states the victim, whose name was redacted from the report, says the most recent hazing occurred on Monday Feb. 6th in the locker room.
The victim told police that the three players, whose names were also redacted from the report, held him down with his face down, removed his clothing, exposed his buttocks and began to "slap his a**", that all according to the police report.
The victim also told police that the player touched his scrotum and said that this had been going on inside the locker room both at home and away games since July and August of 2022.
The victim told police that he felt he had no other choice, but to let this continue because he was outnumbered.
The victim told police that when he was sexually assaulted it usually happened in front of the entire team and no one intervened.
The police report states that there is another player who was potentially a victim of this type of assault.
The victim walked into the NMSU office Friday Feb. 10th and told police he does not want to pursue criminal charges at this time.
The three players accused face criminal offenses including one count of false imprisonment, two counts of criminal sexual contact and one count of harassment
While the police report redacted the names of the three players accused, it does state they are all Black/African American.
As a direct response to the new allegations into the police report, New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu shut down the men's basketball program operations for the rest of the season.
Arvizu said in a statement, "Today I am announcing my decision to suspend operations for our men’s basketball program for the remainder of the season. 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."
He added hazing does not have a place at NMSU. Arvizu stated those responsible for this incident are going to be held responsible.
"It's time for this program to reset," stated Arvizu.
The WAC later released a statement, “The Western Athletic Conference is committed to both the mental and physical wellbeing of all of our student-athletes. We are saddened and disappointed that hazing continues to be a part of our society at any level. Over the last 48 hours, our staff and membership have been working to find a solution that best protects every WAC student-athlete and institution. We fully support New Mexico State’s decision to suspend the rest of its season, as they take this time to focus on the health and safety of their student-athletes."
Since all of this has come to light, three players have left the NMSU program they are Kyle Feit, Shahar Lazar and Kent Olewiler.
Feit's statement in part read, "My family instilled values in me that haven't wavered, and at this time, I'm looking to find a place that aligns with them."
While Lazar's statement read in part, "I was raised on the values of excellence, discipline, respect, reliability and accountability. However in retrospect I don't believe the program that I originally committed to currently aligns with my beliefs and core values."
Sources have revealed to ABC-7 that the three players accused of sexually assaulting another player are not any of the players who have announced they are leaving. The three players accused in the police report are also not any of the players involved in the deadly shooting on UNM's campus last November.
As of Sunday night NMSU officials tell ABC-7 that Greg Heiar is still the head coach of the program.
ABC-7 has researched Heiar's contract and under the employment duties section it states, "Coach recognizes and acknowledges the importance of maintaining and observing the principle of institutional control of every aspect of the Program."
Within the section is also states, "Coach must faithfully perform the customary duties as head coach, including managing and supervising the Program."
Whether the University believes Heiar has lived up to the duties in his contract or failed to meet them is yet to be seen.
The board of regents is set to have a closed meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14th. It's unclear if that meeting will discuss the NMSU basketball team but on the agenda is - "discussing limited personnel matters concerning individual NMSU employees and the discussion of personally identifiable information about individual NMSU students."
A spokesperson told ABC-7 that decisions regarding the termination can not be made in a closed-door meeting and only in an open meeting. That same spokesperson said that when it comes to the termination of coaches or other athletic personnel, the Chancellor can make that determination on his own.