LAS CRUCES — The Aggies died in court this weekend following Saturday’s deadly shooting that left University of New Mexico student and New Mexico state basketball player Mike Peake hospitalized with a gunshot in the leg.
On Wednesday, the day after UNM announced both Rio Grande Rivalry games will be canceled this season, NM state athletics director Mario Moccia said the Aggies will play this weekend in Las Vegas, Nev. “um to get some normalcy back.”
NMSU officials: No police report after Oct. 15 brawl, though basketball players were disciplined
“The vast majority of the team did what they should be doing at this point,” Moccia said. “As we discussed this, we thought a return to some normality was important to recognize our commitment to this (MTE Tournament) at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
“I wish it was in another city, but that just happens.”
Moccia, Chancellor Dan Arvizu and College Dean Ann Goodman spent a little over an hour Wednesday answering questions via Zoom about how the shooting will affect this year’s team and the events leading up to Saturday’s shooting in Albuquerque have led.
Aggie’s freshman head coach Greg Heiar wasn’t on the call, but Moccia said Heiar and all of the NM State basketball players will be on the trip when the Aggies open Friday’s Las Vegas Invitational at Orleans Arena.
“Greg Heiar is still our head coach,” said Moccia. “I will let you know that this Friday night (we had a team dinner, we watched a movie from 10:30 to 11:30 and bed checks at 11:45) the coaching staff that Friday night. We were assured that we would have a had coaches in the lobby From that point of view I think the coaching staff and Greg Heiar fulfilled their obligations to ensure the student athletes were hidden for the evening.
Despite bed checks, police reports have confirmed that Mike Peake exited the Double Tree in Albuquerque and was seen on campus around 3 a.m. where he was shot and fired back at UNM student Brandon Travis, who died at the scene.
The state of New Mexico announced Monday via a question-and-answer document that the school has become aware of “other fellow student-athletes who have violated the NMSU team’s curfew. These student athletes were not part of this incident.”
“Several student athletes were not in their room, but beyond that I cannot speak publicly, but every player is expected to be in Las Vegas,” Moccia said. “The curfew is up to the coach. It’s an atypical situation where breaking the curfew interacts with other things. The curfew discipline has been imposed on those already on campus and further punishment will be decided by the coaching staff.”
Moccia would not reveal how many players were disciplined or what the discipline involved.
Moccia also said NM State players were disciplined after an Oct. 15 fight involving Peake, who police reports say was lured to the UNM campus as a form of retaliation. A person who appears to be Marchelus Avery also appears in the video. Both players played in both games and the Aggies exhibition game. It’s unclear if players will miss games later this weekend or this season.
“When I met with our team, I told them what they probably already know, that given the circumstances, the ice they’re standing on is so thin that they can see the water underneath,” Moccia said. “There is no room for error, as there may have been in the past.”
Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.