LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – The exodus from the New Mexico State men’s basketball program amid the team’s turmoil continued on Tuesday, this time from a high-profile recruit.
Lowell Darius Carr, a consensus four-star prospect in the Class of 2023 who signed with first-year head coach Greg Heiar back in November, announced his plans to ask for his release from his national letter of intent on Tuesday.
Carr cited all of the dysfunction surrounding the program in his statement posted to social media regarding his intentions to ask out of his LOI.
“Due to recent and ongoing situations at New Mexico State, I will be asking for the release of my NLI and my recruitment will be reopened,” Carr wrote. However, he did not completely slam the door on the Aggies. “I would like to thank New Mexico State for recruiting me and the Aggies will still be an option.”
A 6’3, 190-pound guard from Fairfax Senior High School in Los Angeles, Calif., Carr is rated as the 105-best prospect in the Class of 2023 by 247Sports.
When Carr signed with the Aggies on Nov. 17, 2022, he was the second-highest rated recruit in NMSU basketball history. Carr chose the Aggies over offers from Power-5 programs California, UConn, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Washington and Washington State.
Thus far, Carr is the only Aggies recruit to opt out of his LOI or commitment to the program. He joins three players that spent time with the NMSU program in 2022-23 – Kyle Feit, Shahar Lazar and Kent Olewiler – in announcing their intentions of leaving the school.
Carr’s announcement of his intentions to ask out of his LOI come two days after the remainder of NMSU’s 2022-23 season was canceled due to serious allegations of hazing committed by three NMSU players against one of their teammates.
First-year head coach Greg Heiar and his entire coaching staff were still employed as of Tuesday afternoon, but have been placed on paid administrative leave, after the release of a police report in which one NMSU player alleges that three of his teammates sexually assaulted him for over six months, both in the Pan American Center locker room and on the road.
he victim told police he did not want to file charges, but the New Mexico State University police report states the investigation is still ongoing and the offenses described by the victim include criminal sexual contact, false imprisonment and harassment. A lawyer told KTSM on Monday that charges could still be filed, despite the victim not doing so as of now.
“Technically, it’s not up to the alleged victim on whether or not they want to pursue charges. That’s always up to the district attorney on whether or not they want to pursue charges,” said Ramona Martinez, a Las Cruces Defense attorney.
The allegations of criminal sexual contact and other grave offenses in the NMSU locker room are the latest incidents to come to light in a tumultuous 2022-23 season under Heiar that also included: the arrest and firing of an assistant coach; an Oct. 15 fight involving two players at the UNM-NMSU football game against multiple UNM students; and then a deadly shooting in Albuquerque on Nov. 19 involving Aggies forward Mike Peake and four UNM students that was allegedly in retaliation to the fight.