ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Top University of New Mexico officials admit today they messedup big-time in the handling of the Locksley scandal.
For more than a month there have been inconsistenciessurrounding the investigation into the scuffle between footballcoach Mike Locksley and assistant coach J.B Gerald.
University President David Schmidly admits the investigation wasbotched from the beginning, from the way witness interviews wereconducted to how the documents were destroyed.
“First people and organizations are not perfect,”Schmidly said. "Mistakes happen."
Schmidly pointed out numerous mistakes:
- Athletic director Paul Krebs should have reported the incident immediately to UNM's Human Resources department instead of conducting his own investigation
- Witness statements taken by the athletic department should not have been paraphrased and the documents containing all the findings should not have been destroyed.
- The university should have turned over all documents to News 13 when requested weeks ago.
While they made these huge mistakes, university officials insistthere was no cover up.
“I misapplied university policy when conducting theinvestigation and frankly I was not aware of the universitypolicy," Krebs said. "Frankly for that I’m sorry thatthis has added to the confusion."
September 20, 2009 then assistant coach J.B. Gerald filed apolice report claiming Locksley choked him and punched him in themouth.
Athletic director Paul Krebs still maintains in Wednesday'spress conference that no witnesses saw Locksley throw a punch. Thisdespite statements from a coach who says Locksley was swinging atGerald and three coaches who said Locksley choked Gerald. Thosestatements came during the athletic director's investigation in thedays right after the scuffle.
Krebs says he thought the coach meant Locksley was swinging hisarms as in flailing, not punching. Still, Krebs only gave Lockselya written and verbal reprimand, a slap on the wrist.
After the human resources investigation by the university, Krebshanded down a second punishment, suspending Locksley for 10 dayswithout pay.
The university also claimed today J.B. Gerald asked for$500,000 to keep him silent; President Schmidley said theuniversity will not settle.
News 13 asked UNM officials if they would release the findingsfrom the human resources investigation, the second investigationthat led to Locksley's suspension and President Schmidly said theuniversity will meet with its attorneys before making a decision onthat.
Schmidly also said the university should have handed over alldocuments to KRQE News 13 when the formal request was made weeksago.
“It was a mistake," Schmidly said. "It was notintentional, and as soon as the error the documents requested werereleased.”
Schmidly said even after all the admitted mistakes there was nointention to do anything wrong.
“I have a lot of confidence in these two people righthere.” Schmidly said about Krebs and Vice President for HumanResources Helen Gonzalez. “I have no reason to believethat they would want to cover up anything, and I don't believe thatthey have.”
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