New Mexico State’s six remaining games have been deemed forfeits in the wake of the men’s basketball program canceling the rest of its season, the Western Athletic Conference said Monday.
A police report that cited three players for false imprisonment, harassment and counts of criminal sexual contact against a teammate led to New Mexico State’s decision Sunday and the WAC’s ruling Monday.
The Aggies’ schedule included games at California Baptist (Feb. 11), home and away vs. Abilene Christian (Feb. 15 and March 1), home vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley (Feb. 18), home vs. Grand Canyon (Feb. 22) and at Tarleton (March 6). Each opponent will be given a conference win in the WAC standings; however, the NCAA will not recognize the forfeited games as part of the teams’ overall record.
“While there is no perfect solution to this unfortunate situation, I believe we landed in the right place,” WAC commissioner Brian Thornton said in a statement. “I applaud our Athletic Directors for working collaboratively with our staff to reach this decision.
“We are in the midst of the best statistical season in the WAC’s history, and we wanted to create the most equitable solution that did not unfairly advantage or disadvantage institutions that lost opportunities to improve their standing. Ultimately, every institution will maintain the ability to control their destiny based on the results of their remaining conference contests.”
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 Feb. 6, three members of the team held the victim down, “removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to ‘slap his [buttocks].'” He 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 Friday, the victim went to campus police to report a possible assault but did not want to press criminal charges for the time being.
New Mexico State was 9-15 and 2-10 in the WAC under first-year coach Greg Heiar.