ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Malcolm Battles was kicked off the New Mexico basketball team Tuesday after his girlfriend told police he had beaten her.

The junior forward, a starter when the season began, was being sought by detectives, police Officer Beth Baland said.

Coach Fran Fraschilla said he wasn't assessing guilt or innocence by kicking Battles off the Lobos. He said the school wants players who represent the team in a ``first-class manner.''

Battles' girlfriend called police around midnight Monday from her landlord's apartment, police said. Battles was gone when officers arrived. Other details were not immediately released.

Battles, who transferred to New Mexico for this season, has been in trouble before.

He was dismissed from the Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Niceville, Fla., in January for stealing a $179 stereo from a store, authorities said. He completed six months' probation in July for misdemeanor retail theft.

The 6-foot-7 Battles played in six games for New Mexico, averaging 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.