New Mexico State fires men’s basketball coach Greg Heiar amid program suspension, hazing allegations

New Mexico State’s men’s basketball program was suspended for the remainder of the season due to hazing allegations. Whenever they start playing again, head coach Greg Hayar won’t be around.

Principal Dan Arvizu announced on Tuesday that Heyar had been fired and promised an “extensive review and full investigation” of the allegations that froze the program just a year after the team won the WAC regular season and tournament titles.

On Friday, the Aggies announced they were suspending the program but declined to give a reason. Heyar and his coaching staff were placed on paid administrative leave during the suspension. It was later reported that numerous cases of hazing were behind the decision, and the issue gained more attention when campus police released an edited report on Sunday.

In the report, an alleged victim on the team claims that three of his teammates “held him face down, stripped his clothes, exposing his buttocks, and began to ‘slap him on the butt’.” He also stated that they also touched his scrotum.” The alleged hazing reportedly took place in front of other players.

No criminal charges were filed, but the allegations were enough to end an extremely tumultuous season for Aggie.

Heyar spent his first season at Las Cruces after being hired from the state of Northwest Florida. He was brought in to replace former head coach Chris Jens, who was hired by the state of Mississippi after leading the team to the NCAA Tournament last year.

FILE - Then-LSU assistant coach Greg Hayar (center) yells from the sideline during an NCAA men's college basketball tournament game against Yale University in Jacksonville, Fla., March 21, 2019. The state of New Mexico suspended its men's basketball program indefinitely on Friday night, February 10, 2023, and placed her coaching staff, including Heyar, on paid administrative leave.  (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, file)
Greg Hayar, who worked as an assistant at LSU, was fired from the state of New Mexico. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, file)

A fatal shooting also loomed over the state of New Mexico.

In addition to the hazing allegations and a 9 to 15 record, New Mexico State made headlines in December when forward Mike Peake was allegedly involved in a fatal shooting on the University of New Mexico campus.

While subsequent reports indicated that Peake was lured onto campus by four UNM students who attempted to ambush him, and only returned fire after he was shot in the leg, it was also reported that three teammates took the gun from Peak and it was found in the possession of an assistant coach in a hotel after the team left town..

No criminal charges were brought against Peake or any of the Aggies program participants in connection with this incident, but the investigation was still ongoing when allegations of hazing surfaced. Peake has not played for Aggie since the incident.

NMSU President’s Statement on Greg Hayar’s Dismissal

Dear members of our NMSU community:

Earlier today, I made the decision to fire men’s basketball coach Greg Hayar. Athletics director Mario Moccia informed him of my decision this afternoon. This came after we learned of allegations of hazing with student-athletes on our men’s basketball team.

As I said earlier, there is no place for hazing on our campus and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions. I am committed to the safety and well-being of all members of our campus community, and to the integrity of our university.

Through an extensive review and full investigation, we will work to fully understand what happened here and hold those responsible accountable. We will also ensure support systems are in place to prevent this from happening again.

Any further decisions regarding the remaining members of the coaching staff will be taken after the completion of additional investigations.


and E. Arviz



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