— The Sports Xchange —
New Mexico’s athletic department has been the subject of three recent investigations, and amid that turmoil the school announced on Thursday it has suspended Lobos head football coach Bob Davie for 30 days.
The latest investigative action came Thursday when New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas announced he will expand his ongoing investigation into the university’s athletics department.
“We will never tolerate a university culture that denies students their basic rights through illegal discrimination or retaliation against those who report sexual misconduct,” Balderas said in his statement. “Our criminal and civil investigation into the University of New Mexico includes the handling of these issues and we are reviewing the actions of officials from top to bottom and any other organizations involved.”
New Mexico was first investigated by retired federal judge Bruce Black, and later by the Chicago law firm Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose. It was the report filed by the latter group that led New Mexico to suspend Davie.
That report apparently deals with a culture of improper practices and procedures rather than one specific violation, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
In one example, according to the Journal, Davie met with a UNM police officer and tried to discredit a rape accusation against a Lobo football player.
“Both (investigations) identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes,” the university said in a statement. “Although UNM has clear policies, procedures and options for reporting misconduct and has made important progress in simplifying these options, gaps still exist. We will close the gaps and will not accept confusion or ignorance of policies as an excuse. Behavior that violates our policies will not be tolerated. We will intensify our efforts to educate our campus community and change the culture of accountability within the University.”
No instances of coaches or players actively obstructing ongoing criminal investigations of university athletes were cited in the report. However, the report concluded that the school should “take strong action” to ensure the university will not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical abuse or other prohibited misconduct against its students.
The Lobos went 3-9 this past season in Davie’s sixth season as head coach. Davie, 63, is 30-45 with New Mexico.