New Mexico State University has fired men’s basketball head coach Greg Heiar amid allegations of hazing within the team, the university’s chancellor announced Tuesday – days after the school ended the team’s season over the accusations.
“As I’ve stated previously, hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” chancellor Dan E. Arvizu said in an open letter to the university community. He did not provide specific details on why Heiar was fired.
CNN is attempting to reach Heiar, who was in his first year as the team’s coach and finishes the tenure with a 9-15 record, for comment.
Heiar and the team’s coaching staff were placed on paid administrative leave and the program was suspended indefinitely as the university investigates the allegations, the school said Saturday. The school said Sunday the suspension would last at least through this season.
“Any further decisions regarding the remainder of the coaching staff will be made after additional investigations are concluded,” Arvizu said Tuesday.
Though university officials did not provide details on the allegations, a member of the men’s basketball team told school police last week that he has been subjected to “ongoing ‘hazing’ … while in the men’s basketball locker room” since the summer, according to a New Mexico State University Police Department case report obtained by CNN affiliate KVIA and shared with CNN.
The player said this to police Friday, the report reads – a day before the school announced the team’s suspension.
The most recent incident, the player told police, was on February 6 when three of his teammates held him down in the locker room, “removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to ‘slap his a**,’ ” the report reads. The report redacts all four players’ names, ages and dates of birth.
The player said his teammates “also touched his scrotum,” according to the report.
This type of conduct also happened in locker rooms at away games, the player told police, explaining “he had no choice but to let this happen because its a ‘3 on 1’ type of situation,” according to the report.
Usually, the whole team would witness the conduct but no one would intervene, the report reads, citing the player. He also said another player may have been subjected to similar mistreatment, according to the report.
No arrests have been announced. The player told police Friday he did not want to pursue criminal charges at that time, the report reads.
In a Saturday letter announcing the team’s suspension, Arvizu said he was “heartbroken and sickened to hear about these hazing allegations.”
The chancellor called hazing a “despicable act” that “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. NMSU policy strictly prohibits hazing, in all forms, and it’s something we simply will not tolerate,” Arvizu’s Saturday letter reads.
CNN has sought comment from the university and New Mexico police regarding the allegations.
The Aggies had already weathered controversy this season. In November, player Mike Peake was wounded in a fatal shooting on a rival team’s campus.
New Mexico State Police allege Brandon Travis, a University of New Mexico student, conspired with three fellow students to lure Peake to their campus and assault him. After Travis shot Peake, who was also armed, Peake fatally shot Travis, police said.
A basketball game between the two schools scheduled that night was canceled following the shooting. Peake has not been charged in the incident.
The hazing allegations that led to Heiar’s firing are “separate from the events that took place in Albuquerque” last year, New Mexico State said Saturday, appearing to refer to the shooting.
CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to this report.