New Mexico State Cancels Basketball Season After Sexual Assault Allegations Against 3 Players

A player on the team accused three teammates of "false imprisonment, harassment and criminal sexual contact"

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New Mexico State men's basketball team has canceled the remainder of their season after three players were accused of sexually assaulting another teammate, the Associated Press reported.

The school said they reviewed a police report alleging that three players from the school's team subjected the teammate to "false imprisonment, harassment and criminal sexual contact." Per the AP, the alleged victim did not choose to press criminal charges.

In the report, which redacted the names of all four students, the student-athlete accused his three teammates of holding him down and "exposing his buttocks" before the attackers "began to slap his [buttocks]." He also said his teammates touched his scrotum.

The victim also told police that this was not an isolated incident and that the harassment has been ongoing since last summer, according to the outlet. Other incidents allegedly occurred in the locker rooms and on road trips with the team.

New Mexico State's chancellor Dan Arvizu issued a statement to announce the season's halt, which was shared on Twitter. "It's time for this program to reset," he said. Arvizu added that the police report was filed on Feb. 10.

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In a message to the school community, Arvizu said he is "heartbroken and sickened to hear about these hazing allegations" at the school. "Hazing is a despicable act," Arvizu wrote. "It humiliates and degrades someone and has the potential to cause physical and emotional harm, or even death. Sadly, hazing can become part of an organization's culture, if left unchecked."

Moreover, New Mexico State has also decided coach Greg Heiar and his staff will take administrative leave for violating university policy.

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Arvizu said ending the team's season "is clearly needed, especially after receiving additional facts and reviewing investigation reports related to the hazing allegations involving student-athletes on the team."

"We must uphold the safety of our students and the integrity of our university," said Arvizu.

Moving forward, the Western Athletic Conference commissioner will review how to proceed without New Mexico State playing their six remaining games scheduled.

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