Former NMSU Hooper Shares More Harrowing Details On His Sexual Assault Claims Against Teammates

Videos by OutKick

One of college basketball’s disturbing storylines last season included the serious hazing allegations against members of the New Mexico State University men’s basketball team from fellow teammates.

Deuce Benjamin, Plaintiffs Speak Out On Troubled NMSU Program

On Wednesday, two former NMSU basketball players, Deuce Benjamin and Shak Odunewu, with a lawsuit filed against the university, held an emotion-filled press conference.

The former players spoke on their harrowing experiences with abuse within the program, seemingly allowed by the team’s coaching staff.

“First it hurts, then it changes you,” Benjamin said on Wednesday. “There’s a part of me that hasn’t been the same.”

Deuce Benjamin, arguably the most touted basketball prospect to come out of New Mexico, dropped out of the program before ever taking the court for the Aggies after several of his teammates allegedly harassed him in the locker room.

Heading leading up to his short-lived stint at NMSU, Deuce was named the Gatorade high school player of the year in 2021.

As detailed by OutKick’s Grayson Weir, “William ‘Deuce’ Benjamin Jr., his father, and Shakiru ‘Shak’ Odunewu filed the lawsuit against The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University, Heiar, assistant coach Dominique Taylor, and three former players— Kim Aiken Jr., DeShawndre Washington and Doctor Bradley.”

Odenuwu joined the lawsuit after being an eyewitness to the incident. Odenuwu called it a long standing issue within the program, permitted by former NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu and the Aggies coaches.

NMSU Looked The Other Way

Chancellor Arvizu split with the university in 2022 as the school opted out of renewing his contract. Arvizu took plenty of heat for being chancellor amid the sexual assault allegations and the incident involving an NMSU player fatally shooting a person.

The scandals also led to cutting ties with Aggies head coach Greg Heiar and immediately halting the season for the basketball program.

“Now because of this, I have to start all over again. Start my dream of being a Division I basketball player over again,” Deuce added. “There’s a part of me that hasn’t been the same again. And I want people to know that. I’ve changed.”

Shak Odunewu spoke on why he decided to join Deuce in the lawsuit against NMSU.

“It got to the point that I could not bear it anymore,” Odunewu said, having shared that he witnessed teammates attempting to get Benjamin to expose himself and grabbing his genitalia.

Deuce Benjamin’s father, William, is a renowned name within the university. As an Aggie, William Benjamin led the team to the Sweet Sixteen. William currently coaches the Las Cruces High basketball team.

“My child has been failed. My family has been failed,” the elder Benjamin said. “And as a father, I feel like I failed my son for putting him in this situation.”

NMSU is investigating the matter and rebuking the actions of the Aggies players.

William and Deuce Benjamin’s attorney, Joleen Youngers, said the following, “When locker room behavior goes too far, it’s far beyond hazing, it’s battery and sexual assault … and this is the behavior that brought us here today, that filed this lawsuit and fired a head coach.”

Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
Check us out on TikTok

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

Leave a Reply