UNM’s decision to suspend head football coach Mike Locksley for 10 days amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist and serves as yet another illustration of the lengths those in power will go to in order to protect themselves and each other from the inconveniences of personal responsibility.
Locksley publicly acknowledged becoming involved in a “physical altercation” with one of his assistant coaches following the Lobos’ loss to Air Force last month, citing the pressures of his job as the cause of his otherwise “inexcusable” actions. In a recent press conference, Athletics Director Paul Krebs asserted that no one witnessed Locksley’s admitted indiscretion — as if surveillance alone should govern one’s actions, as if the questions surrounding this incident had only to do with innocence, guilt and “hard” evidence and nothing to do with competence, character or leadership.
A head football coach making $750,000 a year who lacks the modicum of self-restraint and discipline required to avoid getting into what he himself calls a physical altercation with a subordinate is manifestly unfit for the job, and a 10-day suspension will not change that.
Past and present administrators and coaches have publicly bemoaned UNM’s “lack of school spirit.” But how are we to take pride in an institution that does not demand a higher standard from those it places in positions of prominence? Locksley’s actions are a national disgrace that would have cost any of us our jobs and probably resulted in assault charges. Yet the University apparently feels it is more important to defend the image of its power than to do the right thing and fire Locksley. Administrators insist they have handled the incident appropriately, but UNM’s students and the people of New Mexico deserve better.
Andrew B. Marcum
UNM graduate student