LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – One week after men’s basketball head coach Greg Heiar’s contract was officially terminated for cause by New Mexico State, officials around the state provided KTSM with updates into the various investigations surrounding the basketball program.
The updates provided little clarity into how close each investigation might be to being completed. Organizations ranging from New Mexico State Police, to NMSU, as well as District Attorney’s offices in both Las Cruces and Albuquerque told KTSM that their investigations are still ongoing, with no timeline for their completion.
To start, New Mexico State Police and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office are both still investigating the deadly Nov. 19 shooting in Albuquerque that involved Aggies forward Mike Peake and four University of New Mexico students. Both NMSP and the D.A.’s office said the investigations were ongoing.
Those two entities are still working closely together on the matter, but could not provide an updated timeline for the investigation’s completion. They are investigating not the entire team to see what, if any, culpability anyone within the Aggies’ program may have.
It is important to note that over three months after the shooting, no one affiliated with NMSU has yet been charged with a crime in the Nov. 19 event.
Meanwhile, New Mexico State University, in conjunction with the Rodey Law Firm, is conducting an external, third-party investigation into the Nov. 19 shooting. NMSU officials told KTSM that they also did not have an update on the status of that investigation, nor did they have a timeline.
However, NMSU chancellor Dan Arvizu told reporters at a news conference last week that the school’s shooting investigation was almost complete, but had hit some snags. One of the hold-ups, according to Arvizu, was that Heiar and his legal counsel had declined to show up to a meeting with NMSU and the Rodey Law Firm regarding the shooting as recently as last week.
“Part of the reason it hasn’t been completed is that the coach has representative counsel and it has been difficult to interview him,” Arvizu said. “In the context of that, we’ve looked at all the surrounding evidence to essentially bolster our case for the termination of the coach and in that context that decision was made based on the information that we have at the current time.”
Later in the news conference regarding the difficulties the school has had in interviewing Heiar, Arvizu said, “They had scheduled a meeting internally and that meeting was to be held earlier this week. The coach declined to show up.”
The university is also conducting an internal investigation into serious hazing allegations that ultimately led to the cancellation of the remainder of NMSU’s season and was the final straw in Heiar’s termination. Arvizu hinted during his press conference last week that the hazing investigation and the shooting investigation could be rolled into one.
That investigation is the newest and stems from a Feb. 10 police report in which the victim – a member of the NMSU men’s basketball team – went to campus police wishing to file a report regarding a possible assault, but did not want to pursue criminal charges.
The police report cites three offenses for the three players: one count of false imprisonment, one count of harassment and two counts of criminal sexual contact. The victim told police that the incidents had been occurring since July or August of 2022.
In the witness report, the victim states that on Feb. 6, 2023, three members of the basketball team – whose names were redacted in the police report released to KTSM – allegedly, “held him down with him facing down, removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to ‘slap his ass.’ He also went on to state that they also touched his scrotum.”
The victim also alleges in the report that the inappropriate physical and sexual touching by his teammates had been ongoing issues inside the locker room at both the Pan American Center and on road trips.
The victim stated to police that he “had no choice but to let this happen because it’s a 3-on-1 type of situation.” The victim also told police that the incidents would usually happen in front of the entire team and that no one ever intervened.
The police report also states that there could be another member of the NMSU basketball program that has been subjected to the hazing and inappropriate conduct.
Chancellor Arvizu called the conduct of NMSU’s basketball team, “egregious,” with regards to the hazing allegations.
As of now, there have been no criminal charges filed in the case at the behest of the victim, despite the fact that NMSU police filled out a report.
The Dona Ana County District Attorney’s office told KTSM on Tuesday that the D.A. is currently waiting for the investigations into the hazing allegations to be completed and turned over, at which time the D.A.’s office will determine whether or not to file charges.
As with the other investigations, the Dona Ana County D.A.’s office also did not have a timeline, though it would seem they are at the mercy of how quickly NMSU can finish its own investigation into the hazing allegations.