Amid continued state investigations into the University of New Mexico Athletic Department finances, a closer look into the spending activities of former Athletic Director Paul Krebs has revealed more information concerning spending.
A KRQE investigation found a pattern of personal spending on Krebs’ University credit card, centering around personal trips to the NCAA Final Four tournament every year since 2014. That year, he charged over $6,000 to his UNM credit card for a family trip to the Final Four, including game tickets, airfare and hotel rooms. Krebs also charged UNM almost $2,000 — which he recently reimbursed the University — in hotel room charges for his brother.
Krebs arranged similar trips to the Final Four tournaments in 2015, 2016 and 2017, each time charging thousands of dollars to his UNM credit card. Krebs charged $13,119 to his UNM card for this year’s tournament. That money bought tickets for Krebs, his family, other University officials and their families and other individuals identified as “potential donors.”
Other questionable charges on Krebs’ credit card include a trip to the National College Football Championship, a trip to Las Vegas, trips to other sporting events and a Scotland golf trip. Krebs began writing thousands of dollars in reimbursement checks when media and state investigations began to surface.
State Auditor Tim Keller and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas both declined to comment, saying the investigations are ongoing. Krebs also declined to comment.
With the appointment of Eddie Nuñez as the new UNM Athletic Director, the University hopes to move on from years of athletic department budget shortfalls and public criticism.
“At this point, athletics-related expenditures are being reviewed through internal and external controls to determine the propriety of the expenditures,” said interim President Chaouki Abdallah. “We are always looking to improve our systems and will review and respond to the report when it is made available. This process truly allows us the opportunity to take objective recommendations and make effective and transparent changes.”
Gabriella Rivera is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gabbychlamps.