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NMSU clears football coach of misconduct

New Mexico State University stated Wednesday that it has cleared Doug Martin of misconduct following its internal investigation of complaints against the Aggies head football coach.

“This matter is now closed,” the statement from the office of Minerva Baumann, NMSU media relations officer, concluded.

In its entirety:

“In November of last year, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New Mexico received a complaint regarding the New Mexico State University football program and its head football coach Doug Martin. In essence, the complaint alleged that Coach Martin engaged in activities that placed his student athletes in peril and in disparate treatment of minority student athletes. At the direction of the Attorney General, this university conducted an extensive and thorough review of each allegation and retained outside counsel, who interviewed every possible witness to the alleged activities and gathered additional evidence. A comprehensive report was prepared, and the university transmitted an executive summary of that report to the Attorney General. As the report concluded, each and every allegation was found to be unsubstantiated. Coach Martin and his staff were found not to have violated any laws, regulations or any university policy and this matter is now closed.”

It was the first public statement by the university since the matter surfaced and was intended to “(clarify) the status of the investigation,” Baumann wrote to the Journal.

The Las Cruces Sun-News, had reported last month that NMSU President John Floros wrote to the AG’s office, saying, “NMSU has determined that the matters raised in that complaint do not rise to a level that requires imposing any disciplinary action” upon Martin.

The Sun-News reported then that the AG’s office was still reviewing the allegations. On Thursday, an AG’s office spokesman said to the Journal in an email: “We are in final phase of review, and we anticipate issuing recommendations to New Mexico State soon as possible.”

The AG’s Office began looking into possible misconduct after receiving an anonymous letter on Nov. 27.

It alleged Martin put students in peril by requiring them to practice under dangerous conditions; instructed students to play when injured; and engaged in disparate treatment of minority student athletes, nepotism and hiring disparities.

Martin responded to those allegations saying in part: “It comes from a single disgruntled parent who has a kid that was not getting to play,” though he didn’t identify the player or the parent.