New Mexico State indefinitely suspended its males’s basketball program Friday evening in a nearly extraordinary transfer that the college says is unrelated to a deadly taking pictures involving one in all its gamers final yr.
The college additionally positioned first-year coach Greg Heiar and his employees on administrative go away for what it mentioned had been violations of college coverage and separate from the Nov. 19 taking pictures of a scholar from rival College of New Mexico. Aggies energy ahead Mike Peake was suspended in early December whereas a third-party investigator seems to be into his involvement within the taking pictures in Albuquerque.
The shutdown of a Division I program in midseason for causes aside from a spate of accidents or, extra just lately, a COVID-19 outbreak, is nearly extraordinary. SMU’s soccer program canceled its 1988 season after the NCAA handed it the “demise penalty” the yr earlier than, however that transfer was made earlier than the season was underway.
New Mexico State’s recreation towards California Baptist on Saturday has been canceled, and it’s unknown what number of extra of the crew’s 5 remaining video games, all within the Western Athletic Convention, can even be worn out.
This system has been teetering because the evening of the Nov. 19 taking pictures. Shortly after the taking pictures, Heiar loaded the crew onto a bus and left city, minus Peake and three gamers who had picked him up and brought him to the hospital with a leg accidents. Police stopped the bus on its manner again to the varsity’s campus, three hours south in Las Cruces.
Peake has not been charged within the taking pictures. The district lawyer in Albuquerque is conducting a separate investigation.
The college’s announcement mentioned Friday’s transfer was not associated to the taking pictures and its aftermath. The board of regents launched a separate assertion saying it supported “the motion taken by the college leaders and is assured a full and thorough investigation will likely be performed.”
The Aggies had beforehand canceled the sport towards the Lobos in Albuquerque that had been scheduled for the day after the taking pictures, together with the Dec. 3 rematch in Las Cruces.
The Aggies have received seven WAC titles and made eight appearances in March Insanity since 2007. They’re supposed to maneuver into Convention USA subsequent yr. However this yr, they’ve struggled to a 9-15 report — together with 10 losses of their final 12 video games — beneath Heiar, who took over for Chris Jans when he left for Mississippi State. Jans went 122-32 in 5 seasons and took the Aggies to 3 tournaments.
Management on the faculty can also be in flux. The board of regents just lately determined to not renew the contract of Chancellor Dan Arvizu, which expires in June. Over the previous 14 months, each the varsity’s president and provost have resigned or been faraway from their positions.
AP Basketball Author John Marshall contributed to this report.
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