How UNM Recouped Neal’s Overpayments

By Daniel Libit

In July 2014, the same month the University of New Mexico gave Craig Neal a $200,000 raise, the university also entered into a “Memorandum of Agreement” with its  basketball coach that stipulated how he would return $123,710.83 he had been inadvertently overpaid. Continue reading “How UNM Recouped Neal’s Overpayments”

UNM Keeps Overpaying its Coaches by Accident

By Daniel Libit

In 2012, reporter Andy Katz wrote a story about then-UNM men’s basketball coach Steve Alford and his well-compensated skipper, Craig Neal.

“I pay him too much,” Alford jokingly said of Neal, who made $300,000 at the time as the Lobos’ top assistant.

Said Neal: “(Alford) does pay me too much and it makes it hard for me to leave.”

The funny thing (if heedless public spending is your kind of humor) is that when Alford left to UCLA, and Neal was promoted as his replacement, UNM actually did overpay him. By quite a lot. Continue reading “UNM Keeps Overpaying its Coaches by Accident”

BREAKING: Lobos Tagged with ‘Special Audit’

By Daniel Libit

The Office of the New Mexico State Auditor has formally notified the University of New Mexico of its intent to take a long, hard look into the finances of Lobo sports, according to a document obtained by

On Wednesday, State Auditor Tim Keller sent a letter to UNM Interim President Chaouki Abdallah, informing him that OSA had designated UNM and its component units for ‘Special Audit’. Keller wrote this determination came after his office had received “information raising concerns related to athletic fundraising activities and expenses.” Continue reading “BREAKING: Lobos Tagged with ‘Special Audit’”

Who Has Paul Krebs Been Calling?

By Daniel Libit

It has been a trying past few months for Paul Krebs, the University of New Mexico’s Vice President for Athletics: a dismal conclusion to the Lobo men’s basketball season; the discombobulated firing of Craig Neal; the preemption of WisePies’ naming-rights agreement; the procurement of Dreamstyle’s naming-rights agreement; the death — and rejuvenation — of UNM’s ski programs; and the unfolding scandal involving Krebs’ 2015 booster golf trip to Scotland. Continue reading “Who Has Paul Krebs Been Calling?”

UPDATED: UNM’s Longest-Serving Regent Resigns

By Daniel Libit

Jack L. Fortner, the University of New Mexico’s longest-serving regent, submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday, has learned. Fortner, who was first appointed to the UNM Board of Regents in 1999, served as its president from 2011-2015. Continue reading “UPDATED: UNM’s Longest-Serving Regent Resigns”

UNM Has a Suite Deadbeat Problem

By Daniel Libit

While UNM continues to scrounge for new sources of athletic department cash, it appears the Lobos are facing an equally daunting challenge in banking past-due revenue from its best seats in the house.

Sources have been murmuring for some time that the university is still owed quite a bit of money from a number of its suite and club-seat occupants at football and men’s basketball games. A dire-sounding email UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs sent on April 19, which obtained through a public records request, seems to confirm as much. Continue reading “UNM Has a Suite Deadbeat Problem”

Dreamstyle Believed WisePies Deal was Dead

By Daniel Libit

Dreamstyle Remodeling owner Larry Chavez said it’s his understanding that the WisePies deal “wasn’t going to continue” by the time he stepped in to purchase The Pit’s naming rights.

In an interview with this week, Chavez detailed a timeline of the process that challenges the public accounts UNM and WisePies Pizza & Salads have claimed about the transition of the basketball arena’s titling. Additionally, Chavez helped clarify why his company’s naming-rights deal was run through Learfield Communications, the university’s marketing and broadcast rights partner, as opposed to the UNM Foundation, the steward of the WisePies “gift agreement.” Continue reading “Dreamstyle Believed WisePies Deal was Dead”

Here Lies WisePies: “Less is More”

By Daniel Libit

It was always only a matter of time.

Even before The Pit was renamed WisePies Arena, in December 2014, those negotiating the naming-rights deal on behalf of the University of New Mexico and UNM Foundation assumed it would never reach maturity. Continue reading “Here Lies WisePies: “Less is More””

UNM Fund: 1st Amendment Crusader?

By Daniel Libit

The UNM Foundation and University of New Mexico Board of Regents have now formally responded in court to our public records lawsuit, arguing, among other things, that the Foundation’s resistance to transparency is actually a defense of the First Amendment. Continue reading “UNM Fund: 1st Amendment Crusader?”