‘Wyoming is the only state in America without an in-state suicide prevention hotline.’

And this distinction has stood us in good stead! We trail only New Mexico for the state with the most suicides, and we’re always in the top five. When sad ol’ Cowboy Jack doffs his Stetson and draws his Glock 17, tears of uncertainty beading his eyes, you wouldn’t want him to be able to be talked out of it.

University of New Mexico: Ever-Upstanding.

Now that its quarterback has been filmed calling a woman over to his car and telling her to help him finish masturbating, UNM – one of this blog’s venerable favorites – is in the news again. UD has long argued that a state as corrupt and fiercely anti-intellectual as New Mexico should give up on the whole public university thing, with its Dave Schmidlys and Mike Locksleys and a host of others running this hopelessly shabby show. But on it goes; the curtain … or whatever … keeps going up…

Certain public university systems – Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico – wallow.

They wallow. They simmer in their own juices. They don’t get nowhere.

To be sure, they’re corrupt. I don’t want you to think they aren’t corrupt, or that there isn’t a connection between their being corrupt and their wallowing. There’s a direct connection. People can certainly make money off of wallowing.

On this blog, we make a point of following the nothingness of these schools, with a particular eye on their sports programs, since here the futility, absurdity, and nihilism is at its most obvious.

Take New Mexico. Here’s a typical recent article about it in the local press.

First sentence:

Missed budget projections, lingering debt and low game attendance have all contributed to serious financial troubles at the University of New Mexico Athletics Department.

There’s no there there, see? No one’s at the games – UD is surprised the teams show up – nobody’s in budgeting … The schools I’m talking about, located in America’s nature wonderlands, are an extension of their magnificent silent mountains, their deep echoing oceans, their stretches of frozen tundra…

Crucial to this vast chasm is a really stupid and corrupt state legislature, and all three of these states have them. A certain dance is danced, to be sure… I mean, like clockwork, when a school like New Mexico is in such profound shit that it demands more money from the state, the state says whoa wait uh what’s up over there? What you guys been doing? Didn’t we, uh, give you some money…? Don’t we give you some money every year…? So the head of the House appropriations committee pledges to

take a “fine toothed comb” to the UNM Athletics budget before determining what additional funding looks like, if any.

“We are going to dive into these numbers very closely,” Rep. [Patty] Lundstrom said. “The questions I am going to ask are about compensation packages. I want to know what benefits these coaches and the athletic director have. I want to know how much over their base pay they are receiving of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Yeah cuz for the last hundred years or so while the school lies there on the ground dead all the money we send you goes to the athletic staff and NOW’S THE TIME WE MEAN IT THIS TIME WE’RE REALLY GONNA …

UNM’s Athletics administrators and coaches are among the highest paid state employees. While [AD Eddie] Nunez has made cuts to programs to save dollars, he hasn’t made any cuts that would personally affect his own personal finances or the personal finances of his staff. The high salaries and many benefits that UNM Athletics administrators and coaches are entitled to by their employment contracts have remained untouched…

…[S]everal salaries [are] above $300,000 per year with a variety of 13 different types of benefits ranging from free-use vehicles to media pay, promotional pay, incentive bonuses, season tickets to games, country club memberships, retention bonuses, free spouse travel to games and in one case a relocation expense totaling nearly $20,000.

[Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: a variety of 13 different types is redundant. Just write 13 different types. You could even write just 13 types. The high number jumps out more if you just go directly for it.]

The AD’s response to this fact is a beaut. In an entire culture of stupidity, it still manages to stand out.

“I am a supporter of incentives because to me, it incentivizes people to do something. If they achieve it, some great things are happening.”

SOS will not attempt to parse this, because she is old and fragile; she will merely remind you that the athletic program at New Mexico is a debacle.

Update, University of New Mexico

It’s a far less interesting place without the legendary Schmidly/Locksley partnership (read these posts if you haven’t just eaten); but, you know…

The shadow of your smile
When you are gone
Will color all my dreams…

The Locksley buyout and various Schmidly initiatives are gifts that keep giving… And of course when it comes to athletics in particular UNM continues really, really sordid, and things get worse and worse. Let’s quote a bit from a recent article:

In one of the poorest states in the nation, can UNM, which has only one of its 21 intercollegiate sports teams (men’s basketball) turning a profit each fiscal year, justify receiving well more than $2 million per year in state subsidies for athletics? Can it justify student fees totaling $4 million, a figure that has more than doubled in the past two years despite the objections of student representatives on campus?

The new Schmidly says uh I dunno… bad situation I guess but can’t do nuthin…

“The debt service continues to be a challenge for us,” [the athletic director] said, referring to paying down the $60 million renovation of the Pit four years ago. “The financial model was predicated on a naming gift…”

The perfectly named Pit is the basketball stadium. The morons who run UNM promised up and down they’d get some bank or pizza parlor to buy naming rights, only it didn’t happen…

I mean, the financial model?? What a great way to put it. This might be more accurate: I and the idiots with whom I play golf figured we might get the funding if we told everyone

UNM students paid $1.9 million in fees for athletics in 2011-12, with a majority earmarked at covering the costs of student admission to sporting events.

Then, despite the objections of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, came significant increases in those fees. In 2012-13 the students paid $3.2 million and that figure was right at $4 million this past year (2013-14).

“Student fees have been a godsend for us the last couple years. But we, historically, have been on the real low end, and now we’re probably right in the middle,” Krebs said. “But I think there’s a limit to what you can put on the backs of the students.”

In 2012-13, six of the 10 other schools in the Mountain West Conference received more money from student fees than did UNM, as did nearby regional schools New Mexico State University and UTEP.

“I don’t see a huge increase in the student participation around fees, but I do think some nominal increases are probably in their future,” Frank said. “How fast and how much is something we’ll talk to the students about.”

The last fees went up without any talking to anyone. Students objected to them and the school said fuck you. Clearly student fees in years to come will be predicated on the same financial model.

You knew this was coming.

The athletic director draws inspiration from the fact that his team played so well after having been arrested.

Half the Eastern New Mexico State University baseball team was arrested (fight, campus parking lot) and then, having been bonded out of jail, they played a winning game that same day.

“A lot of teams in that situation where they saw several of their players get arrested two hours previously could have folded right there at that point,” said [Jeff] Geiser.

How many teams can come back right away from mass arrest to play a winning game? Not many, baby. But our guys were totally not fazed.

The curse of living in one of America’s Right-Not-To-Think States…

… like New Mexico, is that you’ve got to read shit like this.

Most people just lie there and read it and try not to feel so defiled by its stupid lies that they want to jump off a cliff (there are amazing cliffs in New Mexico). Others can’t help taking the words in and responding to them, as these two New Mexico State University students did.

Although their effort to introduce reason, decency and (you gotta be kidding) intellect to the state – and, more specifically, to the chair of the NMSU board of regents – is the very definition of noble futility, along the lines of, say, the Warsaw Uprising, they are to be admired for the effort. Attention, as they say, must be paid.

[The chair’s letter] is a strangely defensive account of the glories of our sports program and why it deserves the funding it currently receives, including a controversial $4.1 million annual transfer out of the academic fund.

The Cheney letter may have largely been prompted by the “firestorm” created when then-presidential candidate Garrey Carruthers stated that dropping football to a lower division or even eliminating it entirely were options on the table.

Carruthers nearly immediately retracted that statement, but Cheney seems to still feel the need to rally against the critics. “Like it or not,” the chairman of the board tells us, “we must live in the reality that is collegiate sports today.” We have to keep doing what we’re doing, because everyone else is doing it. We have to pay our football coach more than the entire philosophy department combined, because that’s just the reality of the market…

… [It is impossible to] justify the robbing of academic funds to cover the athletic program’s debts at a time when professorships are being reduced and money for research and public service continues to decrease. The Aggie-pride factor doesn’t take away from the fact that many student-athletes leave NMSU with a subpar education and a host of physical and financial problems. Wins don’t justify the overblown importance of big-time sports on college campuses. Instead of blindly going along with the “reality that is collegiate sports today” — the reality of the NCAA’s perverted money-making machine, of rape cover-ups, of steroid abuse — why don’t we put our foot down, be different, recognize that they’re just games and act accordingly? Why not do groundbreaking work to redefine the role of collegiate athletics rather than just trying to keep up with the big schools?

Bravo. You lose.

The Surreal World of the University of New Mexico

With a 3-13 record, the UNM baseball team plays in an “empty” stadium.

Monday the UNM Board of Regents approved the use of a $2 million Severance Tax Bond, which was allocated by the 2010 Legislature for a new baseball complex.

“It’s not money that could be used somewhere else on campus,” Krebs said. “If we didn’t use it specifically for this project it would revert … to the state.”

And while the state is in need of more money, the athletic department says this is money well spent.

An impoverished university, its academics gutted, builds a new baseball stadium for a team without spectators.

“President Schmidly, I gratefully accept this award, but I decided to make a symbolic statement by asking you to hold my plaque until you leave administrative work, and return to your role as a highly accomplished teacher of biology,” he said. “Then I’ll accept the plaque in gratitude, if you want to give it to me.”

This was the acceptance speech that this year’s winner of the University of New Mexico teaching award gave yesterday.

Non-acceptance speech, I guess. Must have been pretty embarrassing for the president, Dave Schmidly, to present the award, and then sit down and hear what the recipient had to say about him.

President Schmidly presented the “Presidential Teaching Fellow” award to Dr. Howard Waitzkin, a distinguished professor in family and community medicine, sociology, and internal medicine at UNM. Upon accepting the award, Waitzkin unexpectedly gave a speech about the UNM administration’s poor performance supporting faculty and students.

“The values that most of us on the faculty and most of the student body think need to be preserved are those that focus on the advancement of education and the advancement of knowledge,” he said. “The priorities here have been on buildings, athletics and other areas that are not core to the University’s mission.”

… In his speech, Waitzkin talked about the resignation of Faculty President Doug Fields on Monday due to the unwillingness of administration to listen to faculty’s ideas on governance and budget planning. He also cited the faculty’s no-confidence vote in President David Schmidly last spring.

“Because of the deterioration of UNM’s educational mission, last year the faculty gave President Schmidly a strong vote of no confidence,” Waitzkin said. “Rather than resigning, the president has continued much of the same practices, which have provoked several scandals and reduced morale for many faculty members and students.”

Waitzkin cited financial changes, cutbacks in key programs and utter lack of support for faculty as the reasons why he decided to speak out at the awards ceremony. He said lack of support for teachers from the administration has led many faculty to teach in a “sad, alienated way,” and others to leave the University…

Tenure is controversial, and I guess it should be. But you have to admit that this is a story not only about courage, but about tenure.


And — Schmidly? He’s going the way of Ceausescu. It’s going to become increasingly difficult for him to be seen in public.

One of the scummiest university basketball programs in America just treated us to an astounding act of on-court violence.

New Mexico State (feast your eyes) puts a guy on court who just goes ahead and punches the lights out of another player.

New Mexico State’s Robert Carpenter pulled back his arm and delivered a powerful punch to the face of Liberty’s Shiloh Robinson, sending the forward to the floor, [breaking his nose,] and leading to an ejection during an Aggies overtime win.

The beauty of it is the coach initially said Carpenter’s a great guy and I’m sure he’s remorseful and maybe we’ll suspend him for a game or something… And then I dunno someone must have talked to the coach cuz now it’s oh he’s suspended indefinitely blah blah.

‘[A] star player who is part of a massive, gun-related controversy was routinely playing pretend pat-down in [pre-game] introductions.’

Thuggery is mainstreamed at the University of Alabama…

That’s not quite right. It’s celebrated; it’s an occasion for amusing witticisms, as it was for the Alex Murdaugh defense attorney who pointed an assault weapon at the opposing table and said “Tempting.” In this case it’s Haw look at me I carry guns so much officials have to check me for them before I play basketball. Haw.


Don’t bother Bama none that they recruit murderers and accessories to murderers. Guns? Everybody’s got ’em and fuck you.

The fact that he’s done this intro throughout the season is no excuse for his failure to read the room.

Huh? Who says he ain’t reading the room? What room? The US House chamber?

Anyway Brandon Miller’s pregame pat-down can’t hold a candle to New Mexico State’s pre-game introduction, where each basketball player pulls off his pants and invites the other players to finger his anus.


Here’s a guy with absolutely no sense of humor. Boo.

Shooter Can’t Handle the Shooting

A U. New Mexico basketball recruit has fled campus cuz of all the bullets whizzing by her in the dorm.

Due to the [two] shootings that have occurred at my apartment complex, as well as the on-campus shooting, I am saddened to say that I will be leaving the University of New Mexico. My family and I feel this is the best decision for me and my safety. I will be entering the transfer portal …


[Brooke] Berry’s mother, Amy Berry, told Ken Sickenger from the Albuquerque Journal that Saturday’s incident was “the last straw.”

“Brooke really likes the basketball team, and she wanted to stick it out, but she was scared,” she said. “She called us Sunday morning crying and said, ‘I want to come home,’ so her dad and I drove down 14 hours to get her. If something happened to her, we’d never forgive ourselves.”

Berry arrived in New Mexico from Billings, Mont. She lived at Lobo Village, a student-housing complex just west of the UNM basketball arena, otherwise known as The Pit. The two previous incidents happened close enough to Berry for her to be concerned for her safety. 

“Brooke called when a shooting was happening, and she was hiding in the bathtub,” the mother told the Journal. “I was thinking, ‘This is crazy.'”


The university has released a statement.

Brooke’s being a real GIRL about this… Everyone at UNM has hidden in a bathtub during a gunfight outside their room! BFD! What a baby.


The traditional New Mexico State/University of New Mexico men’s basketball rivalry game has been cancelled. The latest dorm killing was between members of the rival teams, and since NMSU killed a UNM guy the rivalry’s been settled: NMSU wins.

The two schools are working out a new money-saving arrangement in which the big game will not take place at all anymore. The schools will share the cost of weapons and ammo and let the guys work out the rivalry by killing each other every year at this time.

Meanwhile, though: GO NMSU!!!!!

UD has wondered for awhile why it’s taking so long for mass murder to play its part in American fraternity hazing.

Guns of course are ubiquitous at frats, but they’re an adjunct to the frat’s extensive drug dealing operation (see pages and pages of guns and frats here), or they’re AK-47s that the lads like to photograph themselves holding, or they’re be-well-son-and-take-care-of-yourself goodbye gifts from Maw and Paw as the little guy heads off to school. And of course they’re notoriously handy when suicide is in the air. All routine American gun use.

Real powpowpow, however, has been thin on the ground. Stuff that draws pledge-blood has been… anemic.

Yes, this Oklahoma State guy (an inter-fraternity council secretary)

used a loaded gun to scare two new fraternity recruits. The victims say (Owen) Hossack pointed the gun at their heads and asked if they would take a bullet for their brothers. Then, police say, he fired the gun …

But I mean big deal nobody got hurt and loyalty is an important value…


See, if you ask UD the omnipresence of guns, alcohol, drugs, teenagers, secret guys-only events, and loyalty tests should mean that America’s budding Stephen Paddocks begin routinely manifesting themselves at our fraternities. By national standards, shooting a gun at two guys’ heads but not killing them is, uh, kid stuff.

On the other hand, there’s evidence that things are escalating to the serious mass shootings UD keeps expecting. New Mexico State University (feast your eyes) is exactly the sort of walking abortion of a school you’d expect to be a first-adopter here, and sure enough they did manage to draw blood at a recent hazing event.

Dozens of students, including Jonathan Sillas, attended the Kappa Sigma fraternity’s initiation event.

As Sillas was leaving, another student, Miguel Altamirano, pulled him to the side and told him to turn around, according to a criminal complaint.

Altamirano pulled out a .40 caliber handgun, held the firearm against Sillas’ leg and pulled the trigger, the complaint states. The bullet went through Sillas’ leg.

Gun-friendly states always use the passive voice. The bullet went through. The shooter did not put the bullet in Sillas’s leg; the bullet decided to go through Sillas’s leg. And note the other thing going on at hazing events: Sadistic tyranny. Pulled him to the side and told him to turn around. Right out of The Story of O. Frat hazing (and sorority hazing) reeks, my dears, of S&M.

Duh. We all know that. It’s about torturing people pathetic enough to be willing to be tortured in order to join your club.

I mean, datz why I keep wondering why no mass killing at Sigma Alpha Epsilon yet! You know they’ve got guns galore, but no one’s gonna confiscate them because that would initiate a massacre of free Americans by the federal government. Little by little, a pledge shooting here and a pledge shooting there, we’re inching toward mass murder at an American university fraternity. Just be patient.

‘Get some dirt on this whore.’

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that the University of New Mexico is among the lowest of the low, not merely in terms of sports, but in terms of academic standards. (Feast your eyes. Skip over the New Mexico State posts, which also come up when you put UNIVERSITY NEW MEXICO in the search engine.). People pretend to be shocked when The Next Thing happens, but if you know UNM, the fact that they’ve just suspended their $800,000 a year football coach for – it’s alleged – racism, abuse of players, and, in the case of this post’s headline, not really dealing very well with rape allegations against his players – you ain’t shocked.

UNM has placed Davie on unpaid leave for 30 days and says he will have to take mandatory trainings, including on cultural sensitivity.

You bet.

Update: Sports journalism’s best commenters are just getting started over at Deadspin, but there are already a few gems. Like this one:

The judges will need a moment to consider whether Dave Bliss’s post-UNM career should be taken into consideration when deciding the title of “biggest asshole to coach for the Lobos.”

“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”

Anyone who blogs about universities – ‘specially university athletics – has the very same task Samuel Beckett describes. How do you make room for – make sense of – the mess? For the theater of the absurd production that schools like New Mexico State (and let NMSU stand for myriad others like it) stage every single day? Go here for background on this clown school with its budget-killing big sports program and its vast empty stadium. Then go here for an update, as the state of New Mexico pulls funding from the school and lets the big thinkers on campus figure out how to keep their players rolling around in a huge vacant shell.

But that’s just one state school, from a notoriously anti-intellectual state. Consider the sporty devolution of the University of Minnesota, of all places, where they pay coaches millions of dollars to preside over endless sickening drug and sex scandals. People are now officially worried that the state legislature might be too grossed out to approve UMN’s funding requests. You’ve even got some restive citizens wondering about – wait for it – whether athletics might compromise a university’s mission. They seem particularly upset about coaches’ salaries.

But UMN to the rescue! They’re about to appoint this guy as one of their regents. Good optics.


The Washington state senate shows you what can happen to a university’s autonomy when it keeps fucking up its athletic budget.


At least we’ve got the very top of university football, with packed stadiums and plentiful revenues, to admire. Dave Zirin describes these lucky schools.

[Clemson’s] head coach in 1981, Danny Ford made $50,000 that year (adjusted for inflation, that would be $140,000 today). Dabo Swinney takes home a base salary of $4.55 million. He also made $1.4 million in bonuses for a total salary of just under $6 million. As for players, their lot in life is the same as in 1981, except now they receive a $388-a-month stipend.

[Clemson coach Dabo] Swinney was asked about the idea of actually paying players, given the dramatically transformed economic landscape of the game, and he said that if players are ever paid, “I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.” To call the desire to end this rank exploitation “entitlement” is Orwellian in the extreme. He might as well write “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” on the locker-room walls.

If anyone has expressed an obscene amount of entitlement, it’s Swinney. Here is someone working on a refurbished plantation who makes millions of dollars off the sweat and head injuries of overwhelmingly black, unpaid labor, and yet when asked about the Black Lives Matter movement in September, he said, ”Some of these people need to move to another country.”

… College football is a septic tank of entitlement. It’s a fungal culture created by the head coaches of Big Football. Dabo Swinney is the very embodiment of that culture: adrift, clueless, and filthy rich.

Yuck. Another fine mess.


UD thanks John and Carl.

Here at University Diaries, we don’t cover diploma mill grads unless these people are outstanding, extensive, users of diploma mills…

… and unless these same people have achieved high-level jobs in education and related fields.

Cindy Holguin, CEO of a New Mexico charter school, seems more than amply to fit the bill:

Holguin is … fighting back against allegations regarding her qualifications to lead the school as CEO.

[D]egrees held by Holguin from Belford University, … a proven diploma scam, [are] invalid and did not meet standards set by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Holguin told the Current-Argus the only degree she used in applying for her position was an associate’s degree obtained from the Carlsbad campus of New Mexico State University in 1995.

The university was unable to find a record of that degree when requested by the Current-Argus.

In addition, Holguin said she has an MBA from New York State University Online from 2007.

Holguin said she would not cite her degrees from Belford University, saying those were not degrees she was “proud of.”

The I didn’t cite them or We didn’t use them in assessing her qualifications for the job are classic diploma mill-revelation moves… Yes, yes, she got two PhDs from East Ipswich Institute of Holistic Theology… But those are totally irrelevant to her work as superintendent of schools, so they don’t count… I got those degrees when I was a single mother subsisting on dog food and I was desperate…

But Holguin, if these reports are accurate, goes way beyond that. According to my count, she’s got at least four degrees, and it’s possible that none of them exists. I’ve never heard of New York State University Online. New Mexico State University has never heard of Cindy Holguin. And for all we know, there are several other degrees she’s not proud of and doesn’t list for certain jobs…

This is one of the most impressive diploma mill hauls UD has seen, and she’s seen a lot. She has speculated on this blog before about how this happens – how you accumulate not one or two but four or five bogus degrees. Her theory is that once you enter the twilight zone, the outer limits, of university degrees, you are in danger of being lured even deeper into the universe. Why stop at Calaspia when you can take your spaceship to Deltora and then Eternia?

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