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 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”

UNMF Comes Clean on Branch Field Deal

By Daniel Libit

Facing mounting media scrutiny — and an adverse public records lawsuit ruling — The University of New Mexico Foundation acknowledged today that it quietly amended a gift agreement last year with university booster Margaret Branch, which cut the price of her naming-rights deal for the Lobo football field by almost half.

The Albuquerque Journal, which was first to report the news, said that it had made multiple requests for the Branch Field payment information over the last two years. But the disclosures came just weeks after made an Inspection of Public Records Act request for these materials on September 12. Continue reading “UNMF Comes Clean on Branch Field Deal”

Weir’s Bosses Urged His (Bad) Pit Suite Idea

By Daniel Libit

Newly obtained emails suggest UNM men’s basketball coach Paul Weir wasn’t operating as a lone Lobo with his widely panned pitch to convert almost half The Pit’s luxury suites into office space for his staff. Continue reading “Weir’s Bosses Urged His (Bad) Pit Suite Idea”

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”

Katie Hnida Has Her Own Davie Concerns

By Daniel Libit

Katie Hnida, who booted NCAA gender barriers as a placekicker for the University of New Mexico, has joined the community of concerned voices questioning the “moral character” of Lobo football under head coach Bob Davie.

Last month, Hnida told a top UNM athletic administrator about misgivings she had during a sexual assault awareness presentation she gave to the Lobo football team in 2015, in which she said Davie behaved dismissively. Continue reading “Katie Hnida Has Her Own Davie Concerns”

Another Former Corner Blitzes Davie

By Daniel Libit

Marquez Mackey wants to make one thing perfectly clear: it’s not a matter of tough coaching.

That’s not why Bob Davie is under pressure, Mackey says, nor why players and staff have come forward to raise concerns about the University of New Mexico’s head football coach. Davie, in other words, is not the victim of reverse wimpery. Continue reading “Another Former Corner Blitzes Davie”

NMFOG, Brechner Center File Brief in Support of our IPRA Suit

By Daniel Libit

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information have jointly submitted an Amici Curiae brief in support of our public records lawsuit against the University of New Mexico Foundation. Continue reading “NMFOG, Brechner Center File Brief in Support of our IPRA Suit”