09-20-09 – Part III of our continuing saga brings to light the story of New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley, who reportedly punched an assistant coach in the face and split his lip. New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs said Locksley was issued “a verbal reprimand” with a follow-up letter placed in his personnel after the Sept. 20 altercation. Nice slap on the wrist for a punch in the face, don’t you think?
Fortunately we do have police reports available to help better understand the situation. According to the report filed, wide receivers coach J.B. Gerald said the fight happened during a coaches meeting that became heated, and before he knew it Locksley had grabbed Gerald by the collar and punched. Apparently other coaches tried to intervene.
Athletic director Krebs apparently tried to pawn the scuffle off by saying it’s not unusual in college football for coaches to have “heated discussions” during staff meetings. He did admit ”this one crossed the line,” however it was just before expressing continued support for Coach Locksley, whom he hired after last season.
“I do not believe this is a reflection of his dealings. It’s not a reflection of his character. This does not shake my faith in his leadership whatsoever,” Krebs told reporters. I disagree, as every action you take defines your character, good or bad. Fortunately for Coach Locksley, Gerald told police he didn’t want to file charges after receiving an apology from Locksley that extended to Gerald, the coaching staff and the team as a whole. “I would also like to apologize to Lobo fans,” Locksley said. “Like I remind our players, when mistakes are made, you acknowledge them and deal with the consequences.”
It’s always nice to know the school AD has your back when decided to physically assault someone in a meeting room. AD Krebs went so far as to say he considers the matter resolved, blaming the incident on the stress of coaching, and saying it was probably worsened by New Mexico’s winless start (0-4). They even lost rival New Mexico St., which hadn’t happened in 6 years. Yes, that’s right AD, blame it on the team’s inefficiency on the football field, which by the way is usually a direct reflection of a team’s coaching.
Not to bring up his past or anything, but… Coach Locksley, a first-year coach at UNM, is accused of sexual harassment, age discrimination and retaliation in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed last spring by a former football administrative assistant. Apparently Locksley said he only wanted young woman working in the athletic department to help attract recuirts. Again, AD Krebs said that case is ”close to resolution” but wouldn’t discuss the details. Why would he? Sounds like Coach Locksley is a walking liability at this point.
AD Krebs was asked what kind of behavior would result in a suspension for the coach, a great question considering the light penalty for the assault. He responded that he wasn’t intimately familiar with the university’s personnel rules and defended his decision to reprimand Locksley. No kidding! “Based on what I know, I thought it was an appropriate penalty,” Krebs said. Time to pull out the rule book, and perhaps start looking for a new job!
Meanwhile Coach Locksley’s designated punching bag, Gerald, wasn’t with the team in practice last week before the New Mexico State loss. Supposedly Locksley asked Gerald personally to return, but he has not made an appearance back with the team. Can you blame him???
Video of local news story…