Incident Report #2023-1202_Redacted (1) by YVONNE on Scribd
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) — According to a police report from the NMSU Police Department, a member of the NMSU men’s basketball team was “harassed” in the NMSU men’s locker room at the Pan American Center by three members of the team. past six months.
The police report states that the victim, whose name was blacked out from the report, says the latest harassment occurred in the dressing room on Monday February 6.
The victim told police that the three players, whose names were also removed from the report, held him face down, stripped off his clothes, exposed his buttocks and began “beating his ass,” all according to police Report.
The victim also told police that the player had touched his scrotum, saying it had happened in the dressing room at both home and away games since July and August 2022.
The victim told police that he felt he had no choice but to let this continue because he was outnumbered.
The victim told police that sexual assaults usually took place in front of the entire team and no one intervened.
The police report states that there is another player who may have been the victim of this type of assault.
The victim entered the NMSU office on Friday, February 10, and informed police that he did not wish to file a criminal complaint at this time.
The three accused players face felonies including one charge of false imprisonment, two counts of criminal sexual contact and one charge of molestation
While the police report redacted the names of the three accused players, it says they are all black/African American.
In direct response to the new allegations in the police report, New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu suspended operations of the men’s basketball program for the remainder of the season.
Arvizu said in a statement, “Today I am announcing my decision to suspend the operation of our men’s basketball program for the remainder of the season. This action is clearly required, particularly after we received additional facts and reviewed investigative reports related to the allegations of bullying against the student-athlete on the team.”
He added that chicanery has no place at NMSU. Arvizu stated that those responsible for this incident will be held accountable.
“It’s about time this program was reset,” Arvizu said.
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 sad and disappointed that harassment continues to be a part of our society at all levels. For the past 48 hours, our staff and members have been working to find a solution that best protects every WAC student, athlete and institution. We fully support the State of New Mexico’s decision to suspend the remainder of the season as they are taking this time to focus on the health and safety of their student-athletes.”
Since all of this came to light three players have left the NMSU program, they are Kyle Feit, Shahar Lazar and Kent Olewiler.
Feit’s statement read in part, “My family instilled in me values that have not wavered, and at this time I am looking for a place that is consistent with them.”
While Lazar’s statement read in part, “I grew up with the values of excellence, discipline, respect, reliability and accountability. However, looking back, I do not believe that the program I originally committed to is currently aligned with my beliefs and core values.”
Sources have told ABC-7 that the three players accused of sexually assaulting another player are not among the players who have announced they are leaving. The three players accused in the police report are also not among the players involved in the fatal shooting at the UNM campus last November.
On Sunday night, NMSU officials told ABC-7 that Greg Heiar is still the program’s head coach.
ABC-7 researched Heiar’s contract and the employment duties section states, “Coach recognizes and recognizes the importance of maintaining and adhering to the principle of institutional control over every aspect of the program.”
The section also states, “The coach must diligently perform the usual duties of a head coach, including administering and overseeing the program.”
Whether the university believes Heiar has or has not met its contractual obligations remains to be seen.
The Board of Regents will hold a closed session on Tuesday 14 February at 5pm. It’s unclear if the NMSU basketball team will be discussed at this meeting, but the agenda said: “Discussion of limited personnel matters relating to individual NMSU employees and discussion of personally identifiable information about individual NMSU students.”
A spokesman told ABC-7 that decisions about the termination could not be made in camera, but only in an open session. The same spokesman said that when it comes to dismissing coaches or other sporting personnel, the Chancellor can make that decision himself.