AD Says Donors Won’t Foot Bill
University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs has changed his mind on how to pay for Mike Locksley’s buyout.
Contrary to Krebs’ initial plans to collect donations for the former football coach’s $750,000 buyout, Krebs said Wednesday that UNM will not seek any donations to help cover Locksley’s ouster.
“We realized it’s not an attractive sell or proposition (to say), ‘Hey, help me pay to get rid of somebody,'” Krebs said.
Days after Locksley was fired, Krebs said private donations would help UNM afford the buyout without using any athletic department money from student fees or state appropriations. Student fees and state money still won’t be included in Locksley’s severance, Krebs said.
At the time, Krebs said he was already seeing donor interest in helping the struggling football team, which remains winless this season.
“I did say we were looking at donors to help with that, but on further consideration, it’s really clear that’s not a good way to try and raise money,” Krebs said. “People have expressed support in helping us in a new direction, and that’s the angle we’re taking when we talk to people who might be interested in helping us with the new direction of the football program.”
Locksley’s buyout includes $450,000 unpaid from this season, which athletics has budgeted. Another $300,000 will be paid to Locksley over the next two years while the university is also paying a new head coach’s salary. Without donations, that expense will be paid exclusively with athletics’ game-generated revenues, Krebs said.
The Lobo Club, UNM’s athletics fundraiser, this week has begun contacting donors to raise money that can be used to help recruit and support the next coaching staff, said Lee De Leon, assistant athletic director for development. De Leon declined to comment on the fundraising goal.
“It’s all about the future. It’s not about the past or paying of money owed to Locksley,” De Leon said. “I would say the interest is high. People want to see this football program succeed. They want to see it reach new heights.”
Money donated for the new football fund will be used at Krebs’ discretion “to bring in the best coaches he could possibly hire,” De Leon said.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal