Category: Athlete-Student

EXCLUSIVE: UNM Docs Detail Pitfalls of Athlete Experience

By Daniel Libit

Update (1/12/17): Following publication of this story, UNM Athletics Spokesman Frank Mercogliano took to’s Lobo message board to push back against a solitary allegation addressed in the article: that the school did not honor members of the Lobo women’s cross country team after their 2015 National Championship. In a follow-up email exchange Mercogliano told that UNM did not report any rules violations to the NCAA, based on student-athlete exit interviews, because: “There were no violations of NCAA rules to report.” 

What’s it like to be a Lobo athlete?


  • You might be fat-shamed by a coach who calls you a “Dorito-eater.”
  •  You might be unable to contact your academic counselor because that adviser is busy writing a term paper for another athlete.
  •  You might be struggling to personally pay substantial medical bills from injuries incurred on the field of play.
  •  You might be misidentified by a classroom professor who tells you, “All you black female athletes look alike.”
  •  You might not be permitted to pursue your preferred major because the coursework conflicts with your coach’s practice schedule.
  •  You might fear for your life during an 18-hour road trip because you play a secondary sport and the aging van you’re riding in seems barely able to remain safely on the road.

Each of these allegations were culled from the notes of exit interviews with University of New Mexico senior athletes during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. The “confidential” documents (copies of which you can see here and here)  were obtained by through a public records request. Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: UNM Docs Detail Pitfalls of Athlete Experience”