LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State fired basketball coach Greg Heiar on Tuesday in the wake of hazing allegations on the team that shut down the program for the rest of the season.
Chancellor Dan Arvizu announced the firing of the first-year coach and said “hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions.”
The chancellor said decisions about the rest of the coaching staff will be made after further investigation.
Arvizu shut down the program for the season on Sunday, after reviewing a campus police report in which an Aggies player said three teammates ganged up on him and attacked him. The report, which redacted the names of the players, included allegations of false imprisonment, harassment and criminal sexual contact.
The 47-year-old Heiar spent time earlier in his career as an assistant for former Aggies coach Chris Jans, who left after last season to coach Mississippi State. Last season, Heiar was at Northwest Florida State, where he helped the Raiders win the junior college national title.
He brought two highly ranked players with him from the juco ranks, Issa Muhammad and Marchelus Avery, but the Aggies were riddled with problems almost from the start of their season.
It started unraveling when some basketball players were involved in a fight with New Mexico students at an Aggies football game in October.
A month later, the night before New Mexico State basketball was scheduled to play at New Mexico in Albuquerque, forward Mike Peake went to the apartment complex of one of the students involved in the fight. Security cameras at the apartment complex shows the student pulling a gun, then Peake brandishing own gun and shooting the student, inflicting fatal wounds. Peake was taken to the hospital with leg wounds.
Peake has been suspended from the team but not charged with a crime while authorities in Albuquerque investigate. New Mexico State has hired an independent investigator to look into the circumstances surrounding the killing.
The hazing allegations came less than three months after the shooting in Albuquerque. The police report says the witness described teammates removing “his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to slap his (buttocks). He also went on to state that they also touched his scrotum.”
The Aggies were 9-15 when the season was first put on hold before a scheduled game last Saturday at California Baptist.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.