New Mexico State players claim teammates often brought guns into the same locker room where sexual assaults occurred to keep the team ‘humble’
- Two more players and a student manager have filed a lawsuit against the school
- New Mexico State suspended the remainder of the 2022-2023 season in February
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Two former New Mexico State basketball players and a student manager filed a lawsuit Monday, saying their teammates regularly took guns into the locker room where they sexually assaulted players to ensure everyone on the team remained “humble.”
Kyle Feit, along with a teammate and student manager who did not want their names used, filed the lawsuit in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, against the school, its athletic director, Mario Moccia, and former coaches and players.
Besides Moccia, all of them were fired or left last season; Moccia received a contract extension and a pay increase.
The lawsuit was filed the same day as the Aggies’ 2023-2024 season opener in Kentucky.
Feit revealed his name, the lawsuit says, because “his interest in speaking out and holding all defendants accountable outweighs his desire to protect his personal privacy interests.”
A lawsuit alleges New Mexico State players brought firearms into their locker room last season
Some of the allegations — that players sexually assaulted teammates after forcing them to pull down their pants — were similar to those in a lawsuit the school settled earlier this year with former players Shak Odunewu and Deuce Benjamin, along with Benjamin’s father , for a total of $8 million.
The new lawsuit alleges that not only were they attacked in the same manner as Benjamin and Odunewu, but that weapons were also regularly present in the locker room and elsewhere on campus and during team outings.
The lawsuit describes Feit being pointed at him from car windows three times as he walked across campus.
Weapons are not permitted on the New Mexico State campus nor on trips involving school activities.
The enforcement of that rule by the school came under increased supervision when former player Mike Peake shot and killed a University of New Mexico student while the team was on a road trip in Albuquerque.
Peake was not charged with a crime because video showed he acted in self-defense.
After the Peake shooting, the lawsuit said, “the presence of weapons (within the team) became even more real and threatening. (Fact) knew his teammates feared retaliation for the shooting and the atmosphere was very tense.”
The lawsuit says Feit, who previously played at Arizona State and was featured in some of New Mexico State’s promotional material in 2022, was on the verge of leaving the team before administrators abruptly canceled the season in February.
Former NMSU basketball player Mike Peake was not charged in connection with a shooting
NMSU coach Greg Heiar (pictured here as an LSU assistant) was fired last season
According to the lawsuit, Feit was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder while in New Mexico.
He left campus and signed with a professional team in Israel earlier this year. He has since returned home due to the war in the region.
“His PTSD was caused by the war in Israel, which caused him to live in constant fear and worsened his condition,” the lawsuit said.
New Mexico state spokesman Justin Bannister said the school does not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit was filed less than a week after the revelation that the same three players named in the lawsuit were found responsible for sexual misconduct, according to a Title IX investigation led by the school.
NSMU suspended its program in February, midway through the 2022-2023 basketball season
The This was reported by the Las Cruces Sun-News that the investigation determined that, to ensure their teammates remained “humble,” the players required other players to pull down their pants and expose their genitals, while sometimes also grabbing those players’ genitals.
All three plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim the players did similar things to them.
“It became difficult for Kyle Feit to focus on basketball and he felt like he was losing his love for the sport,” the lawsuit said.
“Going to the gym had always been a safe and positive place, and it wasn’t anymore. His game suffered, as did his well-being.”