Sportswriter Eddie Pells’ in-depth reporting on the scandals that have rocked New Mexico State University since last year led him to an exclusive all-formats interview with the two basketball players who filed a lawsuit against the school. They alleged they were sexually assaulted by their teammates, and that the coaches did nothing when told of the situation.
Pells started investigating after the shooting of a student by an NMSU basketball player in November. He made contacts with employees, former employees, activist members of the faculty senate and law enforcement for that story. The Denver-based Pells was planning to visit the NMSU campus for a story on gun safety and sports when news hit that two players on the men’s basketball team told campus police in February that they had been sexually assaulted by teammates. Pells developed a network of about two dozen people who wanted to shed light on the issues that are hammering the second-biggest higher education institution in New Mexico. The interview of the two players was used by ESPN, USA Today, Fox, NBC and CBS. It was also on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal.