NMSU players settle hazing lawsuit, attorney says

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The former New Mexico State basketball players who filed a lawsuit alleging they were ganged up on and sexually assaulted by teammates have settled the case, one of their attorneys said Tuesday.

No details of the settlement were immediately made public.

Aggie players Deuce Benjamin and Shak Odunewu filed the lawsuit in April, alleging three players on the team assaulted them a number of times over the span of months, while coaches who knew of the assaults did nothing about it.

The lawsuit came two months after the Aggies abruptly canceled the rest of their 2022-23 basketball season when Benjamin, a freshman guard, brought his allegations to campus police. The school characterized them as hazing allegations.

In an interview with The Associated Press shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Benjamin said he had lost his respect for people in the aftermath of what had happened.

“Pretty much just a lot of anger,” Benjamin said. “I can’t put my trust in people, and I’ve just come to despise people, really.”

The AP normally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Benjamin and Odunewu had both agreed to let their names be used in both the lawsuit and subsequent media interviews, including the one with the AP. Benjamin’s father, former Aggies star William Benjamin, joined his son and Odunewu as plaintiffs.

A spokesman at the school did not immediately return a message left by AP seeking comment.

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