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The truth, Bob Davie said on Tuesday, is always the best defense.
When the appropriate time comes, he said, the truth is what he’ll tell.
Davie, the University of New Mexico’s sixth-year head football coach, has been asked for comment several times about an online story that broke last week.
The story, citing unnamed sources, reported that Davie is being investigated for mistreatment of his players and the compromise of player drug-testing procedures.
The report by freelance journalist Daniel Libit was picked up by ESPN, NBCSports.com, Deadspin, Sporting News and many other outlets.
Davie consistently has declined specific comment on the allegations and did so again at Tuesday’s UNM weekly fall sports luncheon.
Yet, while not directly confronting what he called “the elephant in the room,” he positioned himself to do so.
“I don’t really feel the need, quite honestly, to stand up here and defend myself,” he said. “I don’t say that from an arrogant standpoint. I don’t say that from the standpoint that I’m above being questioned.
“I say it from the standpoint that the truth is the truth, and I don’t think you have to defend the truth. And I say it from the standpoint of how consistent I have been in everything I’ve done, really, since I entered this profession now, 41 years in college football, but in particular how consistent I’ve been in the six years here at the University of New Mexico.”
Of the allegations themselves, he said, “I just can’t answer any questions right now. Now is not the right time to do it. Trust me, at the appropriate time you guys (the media) will hear every fact, from A to Z, from me.”
IT’S GERHART: Davie said junior Coltin Gerhart will start at quarterback for the Lobos (1-2) Saturday at Tulsa (1-2), dismissing the possibility that redshirt freshman Tevaka Tuioti might be available.
Senior Lamar Jordan, the No. 1 quarterback, was ruled out earlier after taking a blow to the head during Thursday’s 28-14 loss at Boise State. Tuioti, the No. 2 QB, missed the Boise State game after taking a helmet-to-helmet shot during UNM’s 30-28 loss to New Mexico State on Sept. 9.
At Boise State, Gerhart, listed at 6 feet and 205 pounds, entered the game in relief of Jordan late in the second quarter. He finished with a team-best 49 yards rushing and was 7-of-13 passing for 67 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Davie said he was comfortable with Gerhart as the starter.
“I would say that he’s not as fast as Lamar, and I think you can see that,” he said. “He probably doesn’t throw it quite as good as Tevaka, but he really is a guy that can do both things pretty equally. It’s not like he runs it better than he throws it or throws it better than he runs it.
“We have no excuses. … We have a guy that can run our offense, and I’m kind of anxious to watch him play.”
Gerhart, a graduate transfer from Arizona State, was a defensive back at ASU but never made a tackle or defended a pass. As a senior quarterback in 2013 at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif., he completed 111 of 185 passes for 1,733 yards and 20 touchdowns. He rushed 140 times for 1,418 yards and 25 TDs.
THE BACKUP: Davie said either true freshman quarterback Bryson Carroll or junior wide receiver Patrick Reed would be Gerhart’s backup at Tulsa.
Reed, listed at 6-2 and 188 pounds, played quarterback at Silsbee (Texas) High School and came to UNM as a quarterback. He asked to move to wide receiver in the spring of 2015.
As a senior at Silsbee in 2013, Reed completed 117 of 199 passes for 1,832 yards with 21 touchdowns. He rushed 168 times for 1,258 yards and 15 TDs.
Carroll, listed at 5-foot-6 and 183 pounds, has not played in UNM’s first three games. As a senior at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, Texas, last season, he completed 48 of 98 passes for 700 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 1,003 yards on 132 carrieswith 12 touchdowns.
BIG NICK: Nick Iacovangelo, a 6-foot-7, 342-pound redshirt sophomore offensive lineman from Rochester, N.Y., confirmed to the Journal on Tuesday that he has left the program in search of more playing time elsewhere. Player mistreatment, he said, was not an issue.
“I have the utmost respect for coach Davie,” Iacovangelo said via social media. “It just didn’t work out for me here, playing wise. I want something different.”
New Mexico at Tulsa
11:30 a.m., 770 AM/94.5 FM, espn3.com