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FutureStarrNew Mexico State Suspends Men's Basketball Operations and Places Coaches on Paid Leave
New Mexico State has suspended their men's basketball program and placed coaches on paid leave due to "new allegations" within the program, according to a statement released by the university Friday night.
Since last November, the Aggies have been embroiled in controversy due to forward Mike Peake shooting a UNM student and ending her life. On Saturday afternoon, NMSU had been scheduled to play Cal Baptist but that game was ultimately cancelled due to safety concerns.
LeVelle Moton has officially wrapped up his coaching staff at New Mexico State, the Aggies announced Sunday. He recruited Greg Heiar as his assistant coach after previously serving as a teacher and administrator at Chipola College and Wichita State alongside Chris Jans.
In addition to Heiar, NMSU also announced the hiring of Morgan Valley as an associate coach for men's basketball. During her two seasons at UMass, Valley assisted Jasmine Watson in her journey towards 1,000 points.
As a college coach, Moton has always prioritized developing defensive-minded teams. His teams consistently rank among the top five for multiple defensive statistics such as field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense and scoring defense.
Since 2007, North Carolina Central Eagles head coach Randy Moton has guided them to four NCAA Tournament appearances, four MEAC regular season titles and three MEAC tournament championships. Last year NCCU finished 16-15 and tied for third place in the conference; but its success can be attributed to Moton's program building efforts.
In 2017-18, the Eagles went on an incredible run in Norfolk, winning their first-ever MEAC Tournament title as the only six-seed to make it to the finals where they defeated Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T.
NCCU earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and finished in the top half of conference standings, thanks to their defense that held opponents to 67.4 points per game, 33.3 rebounds per game and 41.7 percent field goals. Throughout this remarkable campaign, the Eagles stayed true to their defensive principles by holding opponents to 67.4 points per game, 33.3 rebounds per game and 41.7 percent shooting from distance.
Heiar, a former standout point guard at Chipola College and Wichita States, will be an invaluable asset to the Aggies. Heiar will contribute his recruiting and player development expertise as well as his classroom knowledge to the program.
With a strong staff, the Aggies should have no issue competing for both conference title and NCAA Tournament spot this season. Furthermore, NMSU will benefit from the construction of its John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletic Center which will include practice courts, a student athlete lounge and coaches' offices.
Moton, an experienced veteran in college coaching, will bring his successful and talented staff to NMSU. As a former Division I player, Moton has spent his career coaching in the MEAC conference.
Moton has achieved great success as one of the nation's most prominent men's basketball coaches, leading his team to four MEAC regular season titles, two NCAA Tournament berths, and three MEAC tournament titles in a decade. His high defensive standards have kept the Eagles at the top of their conference; furthermore, Moton has created an atmosphere that encourages teamwork and individual growth.
Las Cruces, NM (KTSM) -- New Mexico State men's basketball defensive analyst Edmond Pryor has been placed on leave following his arrest for allegedly falsifying employment records. His arrest came about 12 days after being hired by NMSU, as reported by The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
The 42-year-old West Side native and graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale was a longtime coach for numerous Chicagoland teams such as Providence-St Mel High School, Malcolm X College and Wilbur Wright College.
Pryor was arrested this month and charged with forgery, a Class 3 felony. After posting $5,000 bail, he was released from jail. According to The Chicago Tribune, Pryor created fake pay stubs and documents confirming employment at companies like Amazon or UPS for defendants under house arrest while their court cases were ongoing. He also allegedly falsified auto financing documents and received bank payments the same day they were sent.
Pryor could face prison or probation if convicted of his felony charge, which would be a major setback given his years of coaching experience that ranged from street ball to college level. As an accomplished coach who earned respect among young players and was widely respected within the city's coaching community, this charge could prove detrimental for him personally.
Pryor was not only a coach, but also an inspiring mentor and motivator with a deep connection to the game of golf. He stated that his mission was "to help the younger generation of players develop as individuals" through coaching them.
Two weeks after Pryor was named to NMSU's coaching staff, he was arrested at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on August 6 while the Aggies were in the Bahamas for a series of games.
He denied being charged with a forgery crime, insisting that he is innocent and will plead not guilty at his hearing on Tuesday. Furthermore, he informed the Tribune that he would resign from NMSU and pursue new employment opportunities shortly.
Prosecutors believe Pryor forged various documents in order to facilitate his release from custody in criminal cases. They allege he created false pay stubs, fake work schedules and letters of employment verification which were later used in court to overturn court-ordered house arrest.
Prosecutors allege Pryor created documents which were then submitted to the Cook County sheriff's office, who stored them on their electronic monitoring system. By fabricating records, defendants were able to avoid house arrest - which in many states is mandatory for those accused of crimes.
He is accused of having submitted false documents that included the names and contact information for people at his companies, phone numbers and emails linked to those businesses, as well as details about where they lived. Some of these companies were listed as being located in Chicago.
On Friday night, New Mexico State men's basketball team suspended operations and placed its coaching staff on paid administrative leave amid allegations unconnected to a fatal shooting involving one of its players last year. The school acknowledged receiving new allegations of potential violations of university policy but has yet to provide further details.
Under first-year head coach Greg Hesear, NMSU is 9-15 and 2-10 in WAC play this season. The Aggies had a game against California Baptist scheduled for Saturday but have been forced to cancel it due to weather concerns.
Heiar was hired last March to replace Chris Jans, who left for Mississippi State. Many coaches had been in the running for the job when Heiar arrived, including Arizona associate head coach Joe Pasternack, Oklahoma assistant coach Chris Crutchfield and Baylor assistant Jerome Tang.
On Wednesday afternoon, Moccia met with reporters and announced the search for a new Aggie head coach had begun. He informed them he would be reaching out to several people who have expressed an interest in the job.
"We plan on reaching out to a few candidates that expressed interest in the job and had one-on-one meetings with us last year," Moccia stated.
Moccia reported to reporters that NMSU coach Heiar had reached out to the college's Board of Regents with his decision. According to Moccia, the board fully supports Heiar's actions and will provide guidance on how best to proceed moving forward.
According to a board statement, Heiar's contract with the Aggies will expire in 2021. Heiar has an option to extend his deal through 2020-21, but that won't be available until after they qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Heiar has the option to purchase his contract for $500,000. Unfortunately, NMSU officials have yet to explain what will happen with that money.
After the shooting, Heiar loaded up the Aggies' bus and left town without Peake or three other players who were with him. As they drove back to Las Cruces, Heiar announced that their team wouldn't be playing that night.
Although a third-party investigator is looking into the shooting and what Peake and other Aggies did afterward, their investigation is not yet complete.
After the shooting, some of NMSU's coaches and players took action to aid Peake in his recovery. According to police, Peake had both a tablet and phone in his backpack; Lorenzo Jenkins, a special assistant to Heiar, told officers that Peake had been texting with two other students the morning of the shooting.
It remains uncertain how the coach and players handled Peake's gun, which was discovered wrapped in a towel at their hotel after the shooting. The Albuquerque district attorney's office has launched its own investigation into this shooting as well as into Heiar, Peake and other coaches' actions.
New Mexico State has officially suspended their men's basketball season and placed the coaching staff on paid administrative leave. With a record of 9-15 this season and 2-10 in Western Athletic Conference play under first-year head coach Greg Heiar, New Mexico State will miss its ninth consecutive conference game.
Since November, when University of New Mexico student Brandon Travis was tragically shot and killed on campus by forward Mike Peake.
New Mexico State has suspended their men's basketball season, placing the coaching staff on paid administrative leave while they investigate potential violations of university policy. The school announced this decision on Friday evening and that Saturday's Aggies game against California Baptist no longer takes place.
NMSU officials recently received new allegations, separate from those raised in Albuquerque late last year. They stated in a statement that these accusations involve potential violations of university policy.
Peake, an NMSU graduate who transferred in the fall, had been a member of the team's roster before the shooting. He had started two of NMSU's first three games this season and served as captain.
On the day of the shooting, Peake and three teammates were riding in a car on campus when someone allegedly fired into them. Peake was shot in the leg and required multiple surgeries for his wounds.
Police reported that a yellow Camaro, which had been parked outside the campus, was involved in the incident. The car then left without being seen again, according to police.
According to New Mexico State, several of Peake's teammates also helped remove the gun from campus. Neither NMSU nor Albuquerque District Attorney's Office have charged these students in connection with the shooting.
In early December, the school suspended Peake while a third-party investigator probed his involvement in the shooting. With an overall record of 9-15 before suspension, the Aggies have won one conference game this season and lost two others.
Heiar had recently guided Northwest Florida State College to a national junior college championship when he was hired by New Mexico State in December 2018. Prior to that, Heiar served as assistant coach at Tennessee, leading them to 27-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament second round.
Heiar spent six years at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., leading them to a third-place finish in 2009. Heiar earned himself an NJCAA Region IV Coach of the Year title in 2010, leading his teams to 164 victories. Furthermore, Heiar coached many all-conference players and sent 39 students on to Division I programs.
New Mexico State has officially suspended their men's basketball season until further notice, after allegations of hazing on campus surfaced Friday evening. As a result, NMSU's athletic department launched an investigation and first-year head coach Greg Heiar and his coaching staff have been placed on leave indefinitely.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported the allegations were based on "multiple players hazing a teammate," with a complaint filed 24 hours before Heiar's decision. As such, the Aggies' game against California Baptist on Saturday was cancelled and the school's Board of Regents expressed its support for the decision.
Heiar has only been at his current position for one season, and already the Aggies are facing significant obstacles. They've lost four of their last five games and are 9-15 overall. Hired last summer after an impressive career as an assistant coach at Northwest Florida State College, Heiar faces a formidable task ahead.
Menzies left NMSU as the third-winningest coach in program history with a 198-win total that placed second in WAC history behind Lou Henson (198 wins after nine seasons) and Neil McCarthy (McCarthy 193 after nine seasons). His Aggies finished fourth in scoring defense, 10th in field goal percentage defense and sixth in rebound margin per game among all NCAA Division I teams.
Menzies has guided 20 WAC All-Conference selections, 12 All-WAC First Teamers and five All-WAC Tournament MVPs during his nine seasons at New Mexico State. Furthermore, his Aggies produced two first round NBA draft picks - Pascal Siakam in 2015-16 and Daniel Mullings in 2013-14 - over the course of nine seasons.
Under Menzies, NMSU teams have won seven WAC titles and made eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. His Aggies have been ranked within the top 25 for two years running in NCAA rankings, culminating with their seventh-place finish this past season.
The Aggies boast a formidable recruiting class, led by incoming freshman Jovan Blacksher Jr., who was named WAC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, they've finished back-to-back semesters with an aggregate grade point average of at least 3.0.
Menzies, who grew up in Hamilton, California, is a former three-sport athlete at high school level and has been an college coach for more than 30 years. His college journey began at Santa Monica (Calif.) College where he spent six seasons as an assistant coach before joining Henry Bibby's staff at Southern California and helping produce a top-three recruiting class in 2003-04 before returning to NMSU.
Friday evening, New Mexico State suspended their men's basketball season due to a tragic shooting that claimed one student's life and injured three others. As investigators continue to probe the incident, all student athletes and staff have been barred from traveling to any games going forward.
The suspension follows an Aggies' 9-15 record this season. They are currently ranked last in the Western Athletic Conference.
Taylor, a 2012 Averett University graduate and student assistant coach for his alma mater since 2013, has been employed by former W&M head coach Jimmye Laycock to coach wide receivers in 2018. In 2018, Taylor was promoted by former W&M head coach Jimmye Laycock to coach the wide receivers.
Taylor led William and Mary to three All-CAA selections in 2018 while serving as a four-year starter and leading the Tribe with 605 receiving yards, six touchdown catches and three 100-yard games during his senior year.
Before joining William and Mary, Taylor spent a year as Wide Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Virginia State. Additionally, he served as an assistant coach at Dartmouth.
He and his wife Kim are natives of Richmond, Virginia and parents to two children: a son and daughter.
According to 247Sports' sources, NMSU has yet to decide if or not they will reinstate the team for this season's WAC schedule. Its coaching staff remains intact.
Although the decision to suspend operations is never an easy one, it's essential for the school and its players to move forward with their lives. This provides the university with a chance to review its policies and procedures in light of this difficult development.
The university is taking additional measures to enhance safety on campus. It has launched a separate investigation into the shooting incident and will remain engaged until it is concluded.
Meanwhile, the majority of NMSU's coaching staff is expected to return for their final season in Albuquerque. Furthermore, the school announced it will hire a third-party investigator to conduct an in-depth review of the incident.
The New Mexico State University Board of Regents has expressed its approval of the university's decision to suspend men's basketball. Furthermore, they promised to collaborate with administrators on a long-term solution for the shooting and investigation that has ensued as a result.
New Mexico State men's basketball season has been suspended indefinitely after an investigation into the coaching staff. Their next game against Cal Baptist has been cancelled, and all members of the coaching staff have been placed on paid administrative leave.
On Friday evening, NMSU released a statement informing its personnel of "new allegations, unrelated to the events in Albuquerque late last year." These charges may involve potential violations of university policy.
These allegations are believed to be connected with the shooting of an Aggies player in Albuquerque last November, which resulted in Mike Peake being suspended while a third-party investigator looked into his involvement.
Peake violated school policy by taking a gun on the team bus to Albuquerque and carrying it around campus, police reported. He also falsely told authorities he'd been involved in a fight at Aggie Memorial Stadium and was trying to flee when he was shot.
In another incident, Peake and three teammates met in a yellow Camaro on campus to complain of harassment. Ultimately, police took possession of Peake's gun as well as his computer tablet.
Last year, the Aggie shooting was a major storyline and continued to make headlines when NMSU suspended its men's basketball program after Peake's suspension in early December. Peake and his teammates were scheduled to play against UNM on their campus in late November but the game was cancelled and an independent investigator brought in to probe Peake's involvement in the incident.
The school's decision to suspend the team has raised many questions about what this will mean for NMSU in the long run. At present, they are 9-15 and in last place in the Western Athletic Conference; now it remains uncertain what will become of their coaching staff, led by first-year head coach Greg Heiar. Hopefully Heiar can guide them towards a better year than they've had so far.