New Mexico State won't resume season; 3 players allegedly hazed teammate

New Mexico State has canceled the remainder of its men's basketball season after reviewing a police report that cited three players for false imprisonment, harassment and counts of criminal sexual contact against a teammate.

Dan Arvizu, the chancellor of the New Mexico State University system, made the announcement Sunday afternoon.

"This action is clearly needed, especially after receiving additional facts and reviewing investigation reports related to the hazing allegations involving student-athletes on the team," he said as part of a statement. "Hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions."

The campus police report, obtained by multiple outlets, including ESPN, redacted the names of the players involved. The report detailed the victim telling investigators that on Feb. 6, three members of the team held the victim down, "removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to 'slap his [buttocks].' He also went on to state that they also touched his scrotum.

The victim told police he had no choice but to let this happen "because it's a 3-on-1 type of situation.'' The victim said other incidents had been occurring since last July or August, and that inappropriate physical and sexual touching by his teammates had been occurring in the locker room and on road trips.

The report said that on Friday, the victim went to campus police to report a possible assault but did not want to press criminal charges for the time being.

"We must uphold the safety of our students and the integrity of our university,'' Arvizu said. "It's time for this program to reset."

New Mexico State was 9-15 and 2-10 in the Western Athletic Conference under first-year coach Greg Heiar.

Arvizu said he had spoken with the commissioner of the WAC, which said it was reviewing how to treat the six New Mexico State games that will be wiped off the schedule in regard to seeding for next month's conference tournament.

"The Western Athletic Conference is committed to both the mental and physical wellbeing of all of our student-athletes. We are saddened and disappointed that hazing continues to be a part of our society at any level," the conference said in a statement. "We fully support New Mexico State's decision to suspend the rest of its season, as they take this time to focus on the health and safety of their student-athletes."

Heiar and his coaching staff had been placed on paid administrative leave Friday, when the university first announced that the Aggies' game Saturday at Cal Baptist had been canceled and that the season had been suspended. Arvizu confirmed over the weekend that the decision was made because of hazing allegations within the program.

A few hours before Arvizu's letter came out Saturday, two Aggies, Shahar Lazar and Kent Olewiler, announced on social media that they were leaving the team.

Neither had played this season. This was shaping up as a redshirt year for Lazar, a freshman who came to Las Cruces from Israel. Olewiler also took a roundabout path to Las Cruces; he was a preferred walk-on who was not listed on the Aggies' official roster.

Lazar said he was leaving because, "I don't think the program that I originally committed to aligns with my beliefs and core values.''

Olewiler said simply, "my recruitment is 100% open.''

The suspension of the program came three months after NMSU forward Mike Peake shot and killed a University of New Mexico student in what police called self-defense. Both the school and the Albuquerque district attorney have launched separate investigations after coaches and staffers were found to be in possession of multiple pieces of potential evidence in the shooting, including the gun, after the incident.

Heiar instructed his team to leave town after the shooting and return to campus, even though local police had asked to speak with three NMSU players who were with Peake, who was wounded.

Information from ESPN's Myron Medcalf and The Associated Press was used in this report.