New Mexico State announced Friday night that its men’s basketball programme has been suspended until further notice while it investigates unspecified “potential violations of university policy.”
The school announced in a statement that its next game, scheduled for Saturday against California Baptist, will be cancelled, and that its men’s basketball coaching staff, including first-year head coach Greg Heiar, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“The men’s basketball programme at New Mexico State University has been suspended until further notice,” the school said in a statement provided by university spokesperson Justin Bannister.
“NMSU personnel were recently informed of new allegations involving potential violations of university policy, separate from the events that occurred in Albuquerque late last year.”
It is unclear whether the “new allegations” mentioned by New Mexico State are criminal in nature.
The New Mexico State University Board of Regents said in a separate statement that it “supports the action taken by the university leaders and is confident that a full and thorough investigation will be conducted.”
Bannister did not respond immediately to a follow-up email from USA TODAY Sports, which inquired whether the decision to suspend the men’s basketball programme was made by the athletic department or at the university level.
Under previous coach Chris Jans, who is now the head coach at Mississippi State, the Aggies made three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. However, they are 9-15 in Heiar’s first year and are last in the Western Athletic Conference.
In an email, WAC spokesperson Tony Jones stated that the conference was monitoring the situation and had no further comment.
The decision by New Mexico State to suspend its entire men’s basketball programme is unusual, and it comes after a turbulent few months.
On Nov. 19, four University of New Mexico students allegedly attempted to “lure” Peake to campus and jump him in retaliation for a previous fight. Peake and one of the UNM students, Brandon Travis, both drew guns, according to police. Travis was killed in the ensuing shootout, while Peake was shot in the left leg.
The aftermath has gotten even more attention. Before the police arrived, three of Peake’s teammates arrived in a Chevrolet Camaro, and Peake placed his gun and a tablet in the trunk. The weapon and tablet were later recovered by authorities, and an athletic department administrator turned over Peake’s phone.