“Rising up, I at all times wished to be an Aggie,” stated William Benjamin Jr., in any other case generally known as “Deuce.”
Benjamin was a highschool basketball star, and a two-time participant of the 12 months in New Mexico. His dream was at all times to comply with within the footsteps of his dad, William Benjamin Sr.–an Aggie Corridor of Famer–by taking part in for New Mexico State’s basketball staff.
However at a information convention Wednesday, Benjamin gave a gut-wrenching and tear-filled testimony about how his childhood dream changed into his worst nightmare.
Throughout his temporary stint as a NMSU basketball participant, Benjamin claims to have endured a number of situations of sexual assault from teammates. When confronted with the allegations, his coaches and different faculty officers didn’t act, based on a lawsuit filed by Benjamin and fellow former teammate, Shak Odunewu, who allegedly endured the identical assaults.
“First it hurts, then it adjustments you,” Benjamin stated of his therapy, holding again tears. “There’s part of me that hasn’t been the identical.”
Odunewu, a redshirt freshman, stated he was initially hesitant to come back ahead together with his story, fearing it could affect the careers of these on the faculty.
“Nevertheless it simply bought to some extent the place I simply can’t bear anymore,” he stated. “And it’s simply unhappy my school expertise needed to go like this… I hope me and Deuce could have the power to maneuver previous this and turn into dominant in no matter path we select.”
Benjamin’s dad joined his son on the information convention, detailing how his alma mater failed to guard Deuce when he wanted it most.
“My youngster has been failed. My household has been failed,” William Benjamin stated, tearing up, himself. “And as a father, I really feel like I failed my son for placing him on this state of affairs.”
Justin Bannister, a spokesman from NMSU, stated in an announcement that the college “continues to treat this matter as extraordinarily vital,” and that the conduct these former gamers alleged “has no place on our campus.”
However Deuce and Odunewu want to greener pastures. Each are now not Aggies, and haven’t any intentions to return to NMSU.
Legal professional Ramez Shamieh hopes that the lawsuit will get Deuce and Odunewu the justice they deserve, in addition to clear up a basketball program that has been the topic of quite a few scandals previously.
“By placing strain on the college to make adjustments to carry individuals accountable, there’s going to be change,” Shamieh stated.
New Mexico’s division of training has taken discover. Final week, it despatched a letter to NMSU requesting to research the college’s athletic division, together with Deuce’s allegations.