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Lawsuit filed against NMSU by former basketball players is settled

Joleen K. Youngers speaks at a May press conference regarding the lawsuit between her clients and New Mexico State University.
Jonny Coker
/
KRWG
Joleen K. Youngers speaks at a May press conference regarding the lawsuit between her clients and New Mexico State University.

The civil lawsuit filed against NMSU by two former university basketball players has been settled.

The lawsuit filed in April alleged that NMSU failed to intervene when Shakiru Odunewu and William Benjamin Jr. were sexually assaulted by older players.

Joleen K. Youngers, who represented Benjamin Jr. and his father, said that settling was the best option for her clients.

“If there is the opportunity to get a fair settlement, to get a reasonable settlement without taking the case through the whole litigation process, that helps the parties heal,” she said.

Youngers said she would not discuss the specifics of the settlement, but that NMSU has indicated that either the university or the state’s Risk Management Division would be releasing the settlement terms.

“It was clear that NMSU recognized the gravity of the issues raised in the lawsuit, at least we sure hope they did, and that they respected and recognized the harm that had been caused to our clients,” Youngers said.

In a written statement to KRWG, a spokesperson said, "We’re pleased this situation has now come to a resolution and all parties are able to move forward."

Jonny Coker is a Multimedia Journalist for KRWG Public Media. He has lived in Southern New Mexico for most of his life, growing up in the small Village of Cloudcroft, and earning a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at New Mexico State University.