- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) - Eastern New Mexico University baseball coaches advised players not to cooperate with police trying to arrest them after a brawl, newly released police reports say.

According to the Portales News-Tribune (https://goo.gl/67DcXA ), the incident reports said that coaches told players not to say anything until the officers produced arrest warrants in connection with an off-campus fight April 27.

Seventeen players were arrested May 3 on suspicion of disorderly conduct as a result of a fight at a Portales student housing complex.

One report says a player attempted to leave an attempt to arrest him and when an officer tried to restrain him, the player lunged at the officer. The report says the officer had to restrain him, and players and coaches said the officer choked the player.

The players - nearly half of the team - each posted bail after being arrested.

According to the report, while the arrests were being made, the students made comments about Athletic Director Jeff Geiser “having their backs and bailing them out.”

Geiser said in an interview Friday that he advised the players that neither he nor any of the coaches could post bond for the players because that would violate NCAA rules.

“We didn’t bail them out,” he said.

Each player posted a $1,000 cash or surety bond (10 percent with collateral) soon after the arrests, Roosevelt County jail officials said.

One player told police that Geiser advised them not to talk to anyone about the altercation at the party until after games were played that had playoff implications.

Geiser on Friday denied making the statement, but he said he was trying to make sure players did not escalate the situation.

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Information from: Portales News-Tribune, https://www.pntonline.com

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