NMSU basketball coach fired in his first season after hazing allegations

On Feb. 14, New Mexico State University (NMSU) men’s basketball coach Greg Haier was fired in response to hazing allegations against the team. Players on the team were interviewed by school officials, which led to the program being shut down, according to NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu.

“It feels like a gut punch,” Arvizu said. “As a parent, as an administrator, as a member of our community, my alma mater, I’m both disgusted and angry about what has occurred.”

On Feb. 12, campus police released a redacted report that the alleged victim, who was a player on the team, claimed that three of his teammates “held him down with him facing down, removed his clothing exposing his buttocks and began to ‘slap his ass.’ He also went on to state that they also touched his scrotum.” The report also showed that the alleged hazing happened in front of the team for several months.

Criminal charges have not been filed against the team, but allegations of false imprisonment, harassment and criminal sexual contact put an end to a season full of trouble for NMSU.

Haier was in his first season as head coach of the Texas A&M University Aggies, finishing with a 9-15 record before getting shut down. Arvizu has not made decisions about the status of the rest of the coaching staff, and he will be placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is concluded.

“Hazing is a despicable act,” Arvizu said in a letter to the NMSU community. “It 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.”

In his statement on firing Greg Hair, Arvizu said that “hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. I am committed to the safety and well-being of all members of our campus community, as well as to the integrity of our university.” But with current players Shahar Lazar and Kent Olewiler intending to leave the program, as well as four-star prospect, Darius Carr — who announced he is asking for a release from his national letter of intent, Arvizu has a lot of repairs to restore trust in New Mexico State University.