New Mexico State guard Terrell Brown will be allowed to play for the Aggies in 2019-20, despite pleading no contest to a felony assault charge in California on May 21.
According to a report published by Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News, Brown would have been removed from the team because of the no contest plea, if it had come as recently as April 28. However, New Mexico State eliminated the code of conduct section from its student athlete handbook on April 29. Until that day, the code of conduct stated that any student athlete, ““shall be dismissed permanently from his or her team if he or she is convicted, pleads guilty, or pleads no contest to any felony charges.”
However, since NMSU eliminated that section from its student athlete handbook, New Mexico State athletes are now subject to the exact same code of conduct as every other NMSU student. That code of conduct does not say that a student should automatically be removed from the university because of a felony conviction, or no contest plea, according to the Sun-News. Instead, it’s taken on a case-by-case basis with regards to every student. The new code of conduct will officially be in place on July 1.
Brown was allowed to play all of the 2018-19 season while his case moved through the courts, averaging a team-high 11.3 points per game as the Aggies once again qualified for the NCAA Tournament. NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia told the Las Cruces Sun-News that Brown was a model citizen all season, both on and off the court.
In May of 2017, Brown was one of five people arrested for robbery, after they stole a man’s credit card and used it to buy food at an In-N-Out Restaurant.
All five were initially charged with four felonies: second-degree robbery, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, conspiracy to commit a crime and identity theft. They were also charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor.
Brown initially entered a not guilty plea on all counts, but in May of 2019, he plead no contest to the felony assault charge and all other charges were dropped.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, sentencing has not yet taken place, but with his plea deal, Brown will be handed three years probation. With perfect behavior, his felony could be reduced to a misdemeanor after two years.