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Rick is Wright

UNM football, combat sports and whatever else is worth blogging about on a given day

Lobos reinstate Gongbay, Edwards

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UNM senior running back Crusoe Gongbay (2) and senior cornerback SaQwan Edwards are rejoining the team in Ruidoso. (Albuquerque Journal File Photo)

UNM senior running back Crusoe Gongbay (2) and senior cornerback SaQwan Edwards are rejoining the team in Ruidoso. (Albuquerque Journal File Photo)

University of New Mexico football players Crusoe Gongbay and SaQwan Edwards, suspended from the team after their arrests in April on rape and kidnapping charges, have been reinstated and were to rejoin their teammates in Ruidoso on Tuesday evening.

Paul Krebs, UNM’s athletic director, confirmed Tuesday that Gongbay and Edwards had been reinstated.

“They are on their way to Ruidoso, and they are rejoining the team,” Krebs said.

Krebs otherwise deferred comment to Lobos coach Bob Davie. Frank Mercogliano, UNM’s sports information director, said Davie would not comment until after this morning’s practice in Ruidoso.

Edwards and Gongbay will not be made available to the media, Mercogliano said.

Tuesday evening, Gongbay tweeted the following: “Ya boy is back. They can’t stop Gods work. Gota make up for lost time but it’s still money season….”

The decision made by Davie, in concert with Krebs, came after it was learned that the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office had chosen to summarily dismiss the case against the two players and Ryan Ruff, a former UNM student but not a football player.

The DA’s Office had dismissed the charges in June, but at that time held out the possibility that they could be refiled.

Kayla Anderson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said the DA’s Office would issue a news release on the matter today.

Brad Hall, the Albuquerque lawyer who was representing the woman involved in the criminal complaint against the three men, told the Journal via email that he had heard the charges would not be refiled.

A separate UNM investigation of the incident that led to the arrest of Gongbay and Edwards is continuing, UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said.

UNM President Bob Frank, through Anderson, declined comment because of the ongoing UNM probe.

Gongbay, a 5-foot-11, 202-pound senior running back from Rockville, Md., rushed for 592 yards on 97 carries, a 6.1-yard average per attempt, last season in relief of departed starter Kasey Carrier. Gongbay was the team’s third-leading rusher, behind Carrier and quarterback Cole Gautsche.

Edwards, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound senior from Houston, started at cornerback in 2013 after switching from wide receiver. He was in on 42 tackles, intercepted a pass and had a team-high three fumble recoveries.

Gongbay and Ruff were arrested April 21 after a woman, then a UNM student, told UNM police she had been raped by three men in a dark blue BMW. Edwards was arrested nine days later.

George Anthony Bleus, an attorney representing Ruff, showed to the news media videos that he said proved no rape occurred.

Hall said he believed his client had been given a date-rape drug.

It was not a surprise, Hall said on Tuesday, that the District Attorney’s Office would not pursue the case further, “given the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard and the short window of time that predator drugs can be found in one’s system, including alcohol, often the base drug.

“When any victim comes forward, it is impressive, but it’s not surprising that such a small percentage actually do. It is a tough social issue on our campuses, in our military and in our society.”

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