Category: The NMFishbowl Podcast

The NMFishbowl Podcast: Jay Bilas

By Daniel Libit

Last September, the FBI and federal prosecutors in New York held a splashy press conference announcing the arrests of 10 people alleged to have committed fraud by paying bribes to college basketball recruits. Six of the nation’s top college hoops programs were said to be implicated in the criminal investigation, and there was instant buzz that it could amount to the most consequential intercollegiate athletics scandal of modern times.

Others of us, however, could only harrumph over the news the Feds had now decided to start policing the NCAA’s self-serving and idiotic rules on amateurism.

“I was very surprised that the federal government was getting involved in this sort of thing,” ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas tells me in the latest episode of The NMFishbowl Podcast. “It just seemed too small for the government to be involved in, and the theory of the case just seemed to be too shaky, to me. It didn’t seem to be criminal in nature.” Continue reading “The NMFishbowl Podcast: Jay Bilas”

The NMFishbowl Podcast: Rick Maese

By Daniel Libit

A college football coach is suspended amidst a school investigation into various allegations of player mistreatment. It’s later revealed that school administrators had received a letter, long before any action was taken, warning of an abusive culture in the program. The football coach is adamant about staying in his job and seeking vindication. Moreover, he has a huge contract buyout, and the athletic department is already under financial pressures caused, in part, by the continued debt owed on a pricey athletic construction project.

Is any of this sounding familiar, dear reader?

The catalytic difference, for the University of Maryland and its embattled football coach D.J. Durkin, is that there was a death: Jordan McNair, a Terrapins offensive lineman, collapsed from exhaustion and heat stroke during a team practice in late May, passing away in the hospital a few days later. It was subsequently reported by ESPN.com that the Maryland football staff had, at best, failed to act on obvious signs of McNair’s physical distress. Since that time, reporting by the Washington Post’s Rick Maese has further illuminated other institutional failures and oversights that may have preordained this horrendous result.

“We are not talking about a thing specific to Maryland football,” Maese tells me in the latest episode of The NMFishbowl Podcast. “They can be found at Michigan or Ohio State or New Mexico. It’s just: is it acceptable in college football? Is it acceptable in any kind of work place or any kind of school environment where we send kids?” Continue reading “The NMFishbowl Podcast: Rick Maese”

The NMFishbowl Podcast: Linda Estes

By Daniel Libit

In her 32 years as an administrator in the University of New Mexico’s athletic department, Linda Estes burnished a reputation for forthrightness. Given her charge as the purveyor of gender equity for Lobos sports, and guardian of the school’s so-called “non-revenue” programs, Estes kept on her toes all the way until she retired in 2000.

“I saved every piece of paper in my career, because I thought I would eventually end up suing the university for sex discrimination,” Estes tells me in the latest episode of The NMFishbowl Podcast. And had it not been for former Athletic Director Rudy Davalos, who Estes “loved” working for, she said she probably would have ended up filing suit. Continue reading “The NMFishbowl Podcast: Linda Estes”

The NMFishbowl Podcast: Andy Schwarz

By Daniel Libit

In the statewide commotion over the University of New Mexico’s decision to terminate several of its Olympic sports programs, including its perennially ranked men’s soccer team, there has been no shortage of political grandstanding and moral melodrama. But amidst all the warring diatribes, all the schmaltzy rhetoric about soccer’s sacred place in New Mexico, perhaps the most convincing and sane argument against the cuts came from my guest in today’s episode of The NMFishbowl Podcast. Continue reading “The NMFishbowl Podcast: Andy Schwarz”

The NMFishbowl Podcast: Paul Weir

By Daniel Libit

If you haven’t otherwise seen signs of a coming Apocalypse, perhaps this will fill the bill: After almost two years of my relentlessly scrutinizing, critiquing, filing suit against, tweeting at, and otherwise immiserating the University of New Mexico’s athletic department, a (current) Lobo staffer has now finally agreed to go on-the-record with me in a conversation. That seemed reason enough to launch a podcast (and post my first blog item since March).

And so, my guest for the first — and potentially only — NMFishbowl Podcast is UNM head men’s basketball coach Paul Weir. Continue reading “The NMFishbowl Podcast: Paul Weir”