Tenants of Locksley Hell

Another year with Mike for the University of New Mexico.

Background on Mike Locksley, $750,000 a year UNM football coach, here.

Can’t win a game, but sure as hell can throw a punch.

And, you know, there’s losing and there’s losing. Mike does it with panache. First game of the season, Oregon 72, Lobos nada.

Dave Schmidly’s still president too!

Locksley v. Chavez at the University of New Mexico

From a comment on a UNM Daily Lobo story about a sadomasochistic sex worker in the creative writing department:

I propose a no-holds-barred celebrity duel between Mike “Suckerpunch” Locksley and Lisa “Mistress Jade” Chavez to be held in Smith Plaza next Friday at high noon – 15 rounds or until one of our UNM celebrities can fight no longer – tickets will be sold to the public and all proceeds will go to settle lawsuits against UNM resulting from the earlier escapades of “Suckerpunch” and “Mistress Jade” – Come one, come all – see the show of a lifetime – and shake hands with the man who brought you the whole thing, Ringmaster David Schmidly!!!

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…

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.

The ultimate joke school…

… the University of New Mexico, has finally fired football coach Mike Locksley. Can’t win a game; does all sorts of embarrassing shit when not losing games.

Why did it take them so long?

After New Mexico completed another 1-11 season last year, the Lobos decided to retain him — in part because they could not afford the $1.4 million buyout to his contract.

But take heart, UNM. Dave Schmidly is still president!

America’s Worst University President…

… never lets up.

The University of New Mexico’s David Schmidly’s a ball o’ fire, leaping from nepotism to bid rigging allegations to faculty no confidence votes to the retention of violent football coaches to athletic directors who were allegedly in on the alleged bid rig to… nepotism again. (UD‘s Schmidly posts are plentiful. Go to it.)

President Schmidly tried to give his son Brian a $90,000 job at UNM, but public outrage made it impossible. Then – a lawsuit claims – he got him a job at the grateful company that got the rigged bid for UNM’s basketball arena renovation.

I used to predict that Schmidly would be pushed out, pretty soon, at UNM. He’s so supremely, comprehensively, bad. But just as UNM won’t get rid of Coach Locksley, it won’t get rid of Schmidly. Why? Got me.

Update: Schmidly rides again.

For sheer tenacious takedown of a university…

… no one else comes close to the University of New Mexico.

Its president is a nepotistic nullity.

Its football coach likes to lose games and beat up people.

Everyone’s tried to get rid of the president every which way, but the governor and legislature can’t get enough of the guy.

UNM will also keep the coach on, rumor has it, because “UNM’s Board of Regents, the state of New Mexico and the athletic department’s private fundraising Lobo Club is unwilling to provide the $1.46 million to buy Locksley out of a contract that runs through 2014.”

They’re already paying through the teeth on contract buyouts for three other coaches.


This year’s average attendance will likely be the lowest since 1992. The school’s ticket revenue projection is down over a million dollars over the last two years yet it will cost the University about $1.4 million to buyout the remainder of his contract.

All UD can say is Choose your state well. You’re free, in the United States, to move unaccosted from state to state, putting down roots, attending school, and working, where you prefer. Occasionally, you’re trapped; I understand that. But in most cases you do not have to go to a public university in Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, or Hawaii — all states where there is simply no good option if you’re serious, or even semi-serious, about an education.

Don’t wait for UNM to change. Go away.

Until now, UD has never officially declared any American university….

… brain dead. She now officially declares the University of New Mexico brain dead.

Cerebral function slowed badly beginning in 2007, with the hiring of President Dave Schmidly; it deteriorated further a year later, with football coach Mike Locksley.

Surviving on-campus synapses were beaten to a pulp by Mistress Jade.

“Faculty are not inmates …We can leave …”

Doug Fields said this last May when he resigned as president of the University of New Mexico faculty senate. He, like many other UNM professors, was protesting the wretched management of the university by its president, David Schmidly (long history here).

And he meant that thing about leaving. This article describes graduate students taking over much of the teaching, especially in math and physics, which have recently lost 25 professors “to higher salaries at other universities,” says the deputy provost. He doesn’t mention the no-confidence vote against Schmidly, the many sports scandals over which he has presided, his effort to give his son a high-paying job at UNM, etc., etc.

Several classes are being canceled as well.

Although it’s hard to confirm this from where UD‘s sitting, it does look as though an exodus of UNM faculty is underway. They’ve still got Mike Locksley, though.


The absolute catastrophe that the corrupt state of New Mexico has visited on its public university assumes, with each new scandal, the dimensions of a novel by Cormac McCarthy.

Maybe the darkest pages of All the King’s Men get closer to it. Or the film Mad Max, with its apocalyptic gore. Never, in UD‘s memory, has a university fallen so low.

A local writer, Joe Monahan, attempts to come to grips with the reality that an American campus has been buried. He asks whether it can be unearthed.


The slow motion destruction of the credibility of the University of New Mexico continues inexorably. It seems no one can or will stop it. Not the UNM Board of Regents. Not the Governor. Not the Lieutenant Governor who would be Governor. Not the powers that be in the Legislature. And not depressed university boosters who remain silent.

The university sails alone in troubled waters, captained by the politics of cronyism. The ship is listing badly, struck by too many torpedoes–the coach Locksley scandal, the faculty vote of no-confidence in the UNM president, the hiring of multiple Governor-backed political appointees and the blatant politicization of the UNM regents.

The leading figures at the helm of the university are locked so deeply in politically incestuous relationships that no one will check the other’s actions. What is to be done?


The time for bashing university president David Schmidly is past. This administration is effectively over.

Now we can only beseech him to announce that he will resign his position within a year and spend that time attempting to clean up the mess (Ditto for Schmidly’s right hand man, the politically connected executive vice-president David Harris). The president’s best chance to preserve any legacy is to acknowledge that his has been a very troubled tenure, but that in the end reality was recognized.

Once his resignation is announced the president will need to dismiss UNM athletic director Paul Krebs and his key associates. He will also have to hand walking papers to UNM football coach Locksley which could mean a large severance payout, but there is no choice. The damage is done, and irrevocable if the same players remain. The cover-up culture must be purged and with it the elitist salaries and perquisites.

After securing Krebs’ resignation, the president should then consider giving the title of athletic director to UNM Lobo basketball coach Steve Alford. Through this violent storm he has retained his credibility nationally and locally. Paid $1 million a year, Alford should have no problem handling both jobs on a temporary basis.

The search for permanent replacements for Locksley and Krebs should be confined to New Mexicans. There are many fine coaches and administrators at area high schools. UNM alumni, athletic boosters and the sports media cheerleaders need to have expectations dialed down.

In short, the bar needs to be reset on the aspirations of Lobo athletics. Student athletes–especially those in the football and basketball programs–have been subjected to unreasonable expectations which in turn leads to the chaos we now confront. Basketball coach Alford seems to be finding a balance–another reason why we see him as a prime choice for an interim athletic director.


There is apparently no chance that Governor Richardson will take any action to acknowledge the manifold messes strangling UNM. His forceful political personality, so effective in other matters, overwhelmed the institutional strength of the university and set in motion the events that are consuming the school. But if he were to see the light, he would call for the regents’ resignations and begin replacing them with appointees who are not from the world of politics. (Is that possible?)


There is still a chance for the Legislature to prevent a complete shipwreck. We warned during the 2009 legislative session that the decision of state Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Linda Lopez not to hold an intensive confirmation hearing on the reappointment of regent Jamie Koch and the turmoil-ridden campus sent a signal that legislative oversight of UNM was not to be. Lopez could still hold that hearing in January and appropriators could start demanding change in exchange for dollars.


In the state House the current leadership is so deeply entwined with regent Koch and regents president and former longtime NM House speaker Raymond Sanchez, we don’t know where to look for reform. But university area state representatives and senators are a start. That would be Sen. McSorley and Rep. Chasey. They have safe seats for life. Where are they?


Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish has made education a banner issue, but she has yet to wade into the UNM waters. That will come when the campaign for Governor begins in earnest. But she needs to know now that deep concern is being expressed among major donors and supporters of UNM about her long political relationship with former Democratic Party chairman and regent Koch. It is causing worried speculation that her election as Governor would be more of the same–which in this case means an endless spiral of controversy, cronyism and damage to UNM’s reputation. Will she have the political will to break with the past? Will she send any early signals?


And where are the regents you hear little from–Santa Fe attorney Gene Gallegos, car dealer Don Chalmers, attorney Carolyn Abieta and Farmington’s Jack Fortner? These are all distinguished volunteers, but the time for being bumps on the log is long past. They have the power to pressure the UNM president and even the governor who appointed them. Being an “honorific” regent in the breaking point year of 2009 is not an option.

Change must and will come, but this rudderless ship is headed into the sandbars. How much more damage it will suffer before the rescue party arrives is the dreaded unknown hanging over the home of the Lobos and those who fret for its future.

Joe Monahan, New Mexico Politics

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