It started with an off-court altercation before the rivalry game, one that left an Aggies‘ starter shot and a UNM student dead. Then this month, hazing allegations surfaced and the whole coaching staff was put on leave. Two days later the school cancelled the rest of the season. All the while, the Aggies were in a literal first-to-worst situation. The kings of the WAC were in last place and that is where they finished, with six unplayed games considered forfeits to close out a disaster season.
Now the school has made things official, firing first-year head coach Greg Heiar on Tuesday. Heiar’s official record at NMSU will be 9-15, but his legacy will be far, far worse.
Here is the official statement from NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu:
“Earlier today, I made the decision to terminate men’s basketball coach Greg Heiar. Director of Athletics Mario Moccia informed him of my decision this afternoon. This comes after learning of hazing allegations involving student-athletes on our men’s basketball team. As I’ve stated previously, 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.”
Whoever NMSU hires next will inherit a program in shambles, as a mass exodus of players and recruits will make the first job simply assembling a passable team. AD Mario Moccia deserves a fair share of the blame here. Arvizu is already on his way out, as the school’s board declined to renew his contract that ends on June 30th.
New Mexico State is in their final year of WAC competition and will be moving to Conference USA over the summer.
We will try to get a preliminary list of candidates together in the coming days.
credit to Gaby Velasquez/El Paso Times for the photo