If there’s a red flag phrase for any college administrator, it’s this one: “amid multiple investigations into the athletics department.” And on Thursday, amid a trio of investigations into the athletics department, New Mexico announced it has suspended head football coach Bob Davie for 30 days without pay.
New Mexico was first investigated by retired federal judge Bruce Black, which begat an investigation by the Chicago law firm Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, and it was upon their report that New Mexico suspended Davie on Thursday.
But wait, there’s more: New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas announced Thursday he will expand his ongoing investigation into the athletics department Thursday. His statement:
“We will never tolerate a university culture that denies students their basic rights through illegal discrimination or retaliation against those who report sexual misconduct. 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.”
The report, summarized here by the Albuquerque Journal, does not point to a smoking gun, but instead points to an overall culture around the program in which proper procedure and protocol were not followed. In one instance, Davie met with a UNM police officer in an attempt to discredit a rape accusation against a Lobo football player.
A statement from the school:
“Both (investigations) identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes. 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.
The law firm’s report did not find instances in which coaches or players actively obstructed into ongoing criminal investigations of UNM athletes but concluded that the school should “take strong action to ensure that the University does not and will not — in any aspect of the University’s program, including athletics — tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical abuse or other prohibited misconduct against its students.” Davie was not interviewed by the firm, the report stated.
Davie, 63, recently completed his sixth season as the Lobos’ head coach. After more than a decade away from coaching, Davie is 30-45 with two bowl appearances with the Lobos. New Mexico went 3-9 in 2017.
Davie made $822,690 in 2017, according to the USA Today salary database, equating to a fine of roughly $68,000 in going a month without pay.
Last September, Kasim Hill‘s season came to a premature end thanks to a torn ACL in his right knee. During Saturday’s loss to Indiana, Hill suffered what appeared to be a significant injury to his other knee.
In fact, in an Instagram post Monday, the Maryland starting quarterback intimated that it was yet another torn ACL as he alluded to “attacking the process all over again.”
Tuesday, acting head coach Matt Canada confirmed that Hill had indeed suffered another torn ACL. Obviously, the sophomore’s season has come to an end.
Hill had started all 10 games under center for the Terrapins this season. He completed under 50 percent of his 170 passes for nine touchdowns and four interceptions. His passing efficiency rating of 115.7 is 10th in the Big Ten and 100th nationally.
Sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome is expected to take over for Hill as the Terps’ starting quarterback.
With its reputation battered earlier this year because of the Zach Smith imbroglio, Ohio State has come out swinging at a new report that surfaced Tuesday morning involving the former wide receivers coach.
In a story posted by college football reporter Brett McMurphy to WatchStadium.com, the father of former OSU wide receiver Trevon Grimes claimed that Smith called his son a “bitch ass [N-word]” during practice in late September of last year. In the report, McMurphy intimated that head coach Urban Meyer attempted to cover-up the incident by flying down to Grimes’ home in Florida in October of 2017 and promising the player OSU would allow him to transfer anywhere if he didn’t go public with the allegations; conversely, OSU officials claimed that the trip was made solely to support the player and his mother, who was going through a serious health issue at the time.
Appearing on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference hours after the report surfaced, Meyer described himself as “irate” when he first learned of the allegations made in the report. The head coach called the report “the most preposterous thing” he’s witnessed during his time as a college football coach.
Additionally, Meyer stated that legal action is an option he and the university are considering.
Current and former Buckeyes football players spent Tuesday morning lashing out at the report, claiming there is no racism in the OSU program. In very strong statements, both OSU president Michael Drake and athletic director Gene Smith vehemently defended Meyer, with the former calling the allegations of racism “outrageous and false” and the latter labeling the accusations “unequivocally false.”
Given the opportunity to refute a report regarding the future of his football program, Colorado athletic director Rick George instead poured gasoline on the situation with his choice of words.
Overnight, a report surfaced that CU would part ways with head football coach Mike MacIntyre at season’s end. In response to the report, George stated that no decision on the football program’s has been made.
We do comment on speculation or unsubstantiated rumors with anonymous sources. Let me just say I have made no decisions regarding the future of our football program.
Based on a new deal agreed to in January of last year and approved five months later, CU would owe MacIntyre a buyout in excess of $10 million if he’s fired without cause.
In five-plus seasons with the Buffaloes, MacIntyre has posted a 30-43 record overall and 14-38 in Pac-12 play. Coming off a 5-7 season in 2017, the Buffs won their first five games of the season and climbed to 19th in the Associated Press Top 25. However, they’ve dropped five straight since then, with three of the five losses coming by 10 or more points.
Colorado will play its home finale this weekend against Pac-12 South leader Utah before closing out the regular season at Cal a week later. The Buffaloes need to win at least one of those games to reach bowl eligibility.
Another bowl game. Yippie???
Tuesday afternoon, the MAC and Conference USA announced the creation of the Myrtle Beach Bowl, which will first be played following the 2020 regular season. The postseason game will be owned and operated by ESPN and will be played at 21,000-seat Brooks Stadium, home of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
There will be three conference tie-ins to the bowl game: the two already mentioned as well as the Sun Belt. Each league will play in the Myrtle Beach Bowl four times over the six years of the current contract.
“Myrtle Beach will be a great addition to the Mid-American Conference bowl line-up, and a destination we have been actively pursuing to develop a bowl game,” said MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher in a statement. “A family-friendly destination with outstanding facilities for competition, entertainment, and lodging, Myrtle Beach is very accessible by ground or air transportation from throughout our geographic footprint. I have no doubt our student-athletes, staff, and fans will have a unique and exceptional experience at the Grand Strand. The Mid-American Conference is appreciative of the efforts of ESPN Events and the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in bringing this exciting new bowl game to fruition.”
At the moment, it’s unclear if this new bowl will replace an existing bowl or if it’ll simply be added to a lineup that currently consists of 782 postseason games.