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NMSU athletics still paying for Mumme

LAS CRUCES — Hal Mumme has been gone since 2008, but the New Mexico State athletic department remains on the hook for the former Aggies football head coach’s contract.

The New Mexico State University Foundation paid Mumme’s buyout after he was fired after a 3-9 season in 2008 with two years remaining on his contract, with the understanding that the athletics department would repay the money. NMSU director of athletics Mario Moccia was notified in the past year that there remains a $375,000 balance owed to the Foundation.

In a “Settlement agreement and release” document obtained by the Sun-News, the total buyout amount was $480,918.

The repayment to the Foundation remained in flux until $50,000 was paid out of the Aggie Athletic Club budget last year, according to documents received via a Sun-News records request. That payment was available in large part due to money left by the estate of former Aggie great Danny Villanueva.

“The bottom line is that we are going to start paying that off,” Moccia said. “We owe the money. I’m under the assumption that they (the Foundation) are doing their due diligence and looking at their organization and saying there is an outstanding debt that we have never collected on.”

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Although a legitimate athletics department debt, the Mumme buyout is the latest significant expense felt by an athletic department that had nearly $1 million in budget cuts throughout the past two years. Athletics also had to pay a one-time $500,000 payment in fiscal year 2016 to Boston College for failing to fulfill a road football game in return for the 2013 football game between the Aggies and Eagles at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

NMSU athletics made a $5,000 “good-faith payment” in 2017 toward Mumme’s buyout, and, starting in fiscal year 2018, athletics will pay the Foundation $50,000 each year through 2024 and the remaining $20,000 in 2025.

In a state where higher education midyear cuts have become the norm, NMSU athletics is also due to pay $890,404 in fiscal year 2018 toward its $4.4 million debt to the main campus.

“It’s only frustrating in so much as you are always treading water and not getting to your destination,” Moccia said. “That (the Mumme buyout) is a big-ticket item.”


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