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“Both (investigations) identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes.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.