Friday, June 21, 2024

New Mexico State joins mass exodus from star recruiting program


New Mexico State’s most talked-about recruit this decade has entered a transfer portal as part of a mass exodus from a program that shut down in the wake of murky allegations and a fatal shooting involving a team member. was given.

Deuce Benjamin, who went to nearby Las Cruces High and is New Mexico’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2021, said it was always a childhood dream of his to play for the Aggies.

“That dream turned into a nightmare because of the actions of others (which I won’t go into here),” he tweeted on Tuesday. “Adding insult to injury, Coach Hooton recently informed me that it would be in my best interest to continue my education and basketball career elsewhere.”

New coach, Jason Hooton, will take over a program decimated by transfers. All but one player on the 2022-23 roster has either fallen out of eligibility, turned pro or entered the portal.

Last month, Mike Peek, the player seen in a video shooting a University of New Mexico student, also entered the portal. Peek has not been charged with a crime for the shooting in Albuquerque that killed University of New Mexico student Brandon Travis on November 19, 2022.

The program was shut down after three months after a player went to campus police and said that teammates ganged up on him and assaulted him on more than one occasion.

Benjamin announced his departure less than two weeks after the school’s Chancellor, Dan Arvizu, said he was leaving ahead of his previously scheduled June 30 departure date.

In a meeting last year, the school’s Board of Regents decided not to renew Arvizu’s contract. Chancellor came under scrutiny for trouble inside the basketball program and after police body cam video emerged from an altercation at his home last year. Arvizu’s wife, Sherrill, accused him of having an affair with an NMSU staff member. Arviju denies the affair.


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