The Daily Lobo previously reported the Dan Beebe Group was hired by the University of New Mexico to help “foster safe work, educational and athletics environments” for student athletes, staff and coaches, according to their contract.
But who exactly is Dan Beebe?
Beebe runs a firm offering services for universities to analyze policies and procedures. The firm also provides training, assessment and consulting services to deal with alleged discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual misconduct, hazing, NCAA violations, academic fraud and financial impropriety.
In short, the Dan Beebe Group (DGB) is a fixer for athletic departments who have faced scandals or are looking to avoid one — for a price.
Beebe said DBG offers a vital independent service to vet UNM’s policies.
“We want to be able to stand in front of people we can say, ‘Hey don’t take New Mexico’s word for it, we didn’t live here, we don’t work here, we didn’t get our degrees from here, we’re not season ticket holders — we don’t have a dog in this fight. Let us tell you all the things we’ve learned about (and) what you can do if you have an issue,’” Beebe said.
Beebe himself has worn many hats in the world of college athletics.
Right out of college in 1982 until 1986 he worked as a NCAA enforcer. He then spent one year at Wichita State Athletics as assistant athletic director.
From 1987 through 1989 Beebe was the NCAA’s director of enforcement and oversaw one of the strictest sanctions ever handed out by the organization. The “Death Penalty” against Southern Methodist University — a one-year ban on the football program — was implemented because of continual violations of paying players under the table since the 1970s.
He was the former commissioner of the Big 12 conference from 2007 through 2011 when he was ousted during the tumultuous departures of four schools from the conference.
Beebe moved into the risk management business after the ouster, joining with experienced risk managers Mike McCall and Mark Thompson.
Dan Beebe Group
According to Beebe, DBG (also known as BMT Risk Management) has worked with over 20 universities, including some with high profile scandals, such as Illinois and Louisville.
University of Illinois hired DBG in August 2015 after former athletes alleged mistreatment by coaches. DBG was brought in to help the school "prevent, identify and appropriately respond to misconduct" costing $50,000 for a year. Notably, their hiring came eight days prior to the firing of Tim Beckman as head football coach for mishandling injuries.
In 2016, the group was brought in at the University of Louisville after the 2015 basketball escort scandal to provide training and assessment of UL’s policies. DBG’s contract was for $40,000, and not to exceed $75,000 for costs, including travel.
Beebe downplayed DBG’s involvement in university decisions, he said a separate law firm had investigated the claims against Beckman.
“At all these places, people were afraid to talk because they were afraid what was going to happen to them, or the leadership never got ahold of the problem to address it,” Beebe said.
In July 2016, Louisiana State University officials said they hired the Dan Beebe Group to get ahead of sexual assault scandals, according to The Advocate. LSU paid $30,000 for a creation of sexual assault curriculum for student athletes.
Current UNM Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez was deputy director of LSU athletics at the time.
Beebe said that’s where he and Nuñez had met. Beebe said one of the most important aspects of his work is maintaining independence from the universities.
“I think we’re as independent as you could probably get without having a government agency that does what we do,” Beebe said. “We’re still going to get paid by the clients, but my livelihood doesn’t depend on if New Mexico hires me or LSU or anybody in particular, I have a breadth of clients that I work with.”
This is not the first time outside firms have been brought in to look at the Athletics Department and coach misconduct at UNM.
In 2018, head football coach Bob Davie was suspended for 30 days after a report by Hogan, Marron, Babbo & Rose, a Chicago law firm that investigated a range of claims against him for $24,292. Another investigation this past summer was done by Helen Grant Consulting — paid $6,000 — that determined the Athletics Department was not compliant with Title IX.
Beebe said he would prefer not to comment on either of the circumstances that brought him to UNM, or the work he did specifically for the Athletics Department.
Back in March of 2018, an agreement was signed by the University and BMT Risk Management for a four-phase service plan to “assist (UNM) to maintain an effective human relations risk management program and culture that helps foster safe work, educational and athletics environments” for student athletes, staff and coaches, according to the contract obtained by the Daily Lobo.
There are four phases to be completed by the 2018 through 2019 academic year. The cost (which did not specify if travel or other expenses would be paid) is reported as $25,000 broken into three categories. Phases III and IV are combined for the payment stage.
- Phase I Independent Human Relations Risk Assessment™ is $8,000.
- Phase II Has specific training sessions for football, Head Coach, entire football staff and student athletes costs $7,000.
- Phase III Independent training Forums™ cost $10,000.
Beebe said the group is in Phase IV of the contract, and meeting with athletic department officials in January.
Beebe gave the Daily Lobo a rundown of processes of work to create the Independent Human Relations Risk Assessment.
“We scrub all the policies and procedures that are online and other places,” Beebe said. “It’s where we also talk to people on campus about what are their roles, how do they handle things, what happens when somebody brings up issues, that kind of thing.”
He confirmed to have sent a draft of the document to UNM.
When filing multiple records requests regarding the Dan Beebe Group in late November, Nuñez told the Daily Lobo the department expected an update in January.
The Daily Lobo requested correspondence with and about the Dan Beebe Group and BMT Risk Management, contracts with the University and “any and all reports” that may have been given to individual staff at UNM by the Dan Beebe Group.
The University IPRA office responded to the reports request, writing there were “no public records responsive to your request.”
According to the contract, The Independent Assessment (in Phase I) was recommended to be “completed by spring/summer 2018,” and was meant to “verify personnel and student policies and practices suggestions” for fostering safer work environments.
Nuñez told the Daily Lobo that the final report will arrive in Spring.
“In respect to the Independent Human Relations Rick Assessment, we have not received this official document as of yet. We should receive this from The Beebe Group sometime in the Spring,” Nuñez wrote in an email.
Danielle Prokop is a senior reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ProkopDani.