A resolution calling for the immediate, temporary suspension of head football coach Mike Locksley made it through the first leg of the ASUNM Senate on Wednesday.
The undergraduate student government’s Steering and Rules Committee drafted a resolution concerning Locksley’s Sept. 20 altercation with assistant coach J.B. Gerald. The resolution will go before the full ASUNM Senate next Wednesday.
The resolution calls for “the suspension of coach Locksley until the current investigation into this incident by the Vice President of Human Resources, Ms. Helen Gonzales, is completed.”
Senator Laz Cardenas, who drafted the ASUNM resolution, said that in addition to calling for a temporary suspension of Locksley, the resolution asks the Human Resources Department to make the investigation their highest priority.
“What we are basically saying is, ‘Hey, Human Resources Department, get on it,’” Cardenas said. “We want to see what this investigation is going to lead to, and I’m sure they are doing that 110 percent.”
Locksley declined to comment but has apologized for his actions numerous times.
The resolution also expressed disappointment in Athletics Director Paul Krebs’ action.
“Vice President for Athletics Mr. Paul Krebs’ resolution to verbally reprimand and place a letter of reprimand in Mr. Locksley’s personal record is insufficient punishment for such grievous actions,” the resolution states.
A few days after he announced the punishment, Krebs asked for a human resources investigation into the altercation, which allegedly occurred during a coaches’ meeting.
The Human Resources Department has not set a time limit on the investigation, Vice President Helen Gonzales told the Associated Press.
The Graduate and Professional Student Association passed a resolution addressing the Locksley altercation last Saturday. The graduate student government did not condone Locksley’s actions but resolved that he shouldn’t be fired. The resolution suggested that he seek various forms of counseling.
Cardenas said that unlike the GPSA resolution, his resolution calls for a punishment that reflects the student body’s opinion.
“The GPSA had no spine in their action,” Cardenas said. “I feel, if you are going to go on a position like this, you have to talk to a lot of people, and that’s what I have (done).”
But there is no guarantee the resolution will ever get off the ASUNM Senate floor. The resolution made it through the Steering and Rules Committee with three in favor, one opposed and one abstention.
Steering and Rules Committee chairwoman Alicia Berry — who doesn’t get a vote in committee but gets one in full Senate meetings — said she plans to vote against the resolution on Wednesday.
“It kind of feels like we are kicking him while he is down,” she said. “I don’t think it is going to benefit the football team if we say something. I don’t think he is going to perform any better.”
Berry also said she doesn’t condone Locksley’s action, but ASUNM doesn’t have the power to take away his livelihood.
“We shouldn’t be able to say that he is getting suspended,” she said. “We shouldn’t be the people that say we need to dock his pay. We are not in the position to do that. Yes, we can say something like, ‘We are unhappy with your actions.’ But we don’t have any rights to really say, ‘You don’t get this,’ because it’s a man’s life.”
The resolution’s language could be toned down before it comes to a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday.
That’s what happened to the GPSA resolution. The original draft addressing the Locksley altercation hardly resembled the final version that passed. Fifteen clauses were removed, and other amendments were made before the resolution was approved.
But if the ASUNM resolution is revised, Cardenas said he won’t vote it in.
“If it gets gutted, it shouldn’t be passed,” he said. “I would definitely be against passing a gutted resolution. I want the resolution I passed here in committee to get passed in the Senate.”