ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Anonymous Writer Claims Favoritism, Player Drug Use
An anonymous letter addressed to University of New Mexico President Bob Frank and to the NCAA accuses Lobos head coach Bob Davie of racial discrimination and favoritism.
The letter is signed, “Sincerely, UNM Senior Football Players.”
The letter, dated Jan. 18, also claimed that Davie engaged in a physical confrontation with a player after the Lobos’ 32-29 home loss to Boise State on Sept. 29.
Frank said Wednesday that he had received similar letters at least three times since the fall, and that the university has each time investigated the claims. He said he believes the allegations to be false.
“At this point we don’t believe that there’s any credence, but we’re gonna triple check to be sure,” Frank said.
Frank stands by the coach, saying he has full confidence in him.
“I am quite satisfied that Coach Davie is running an excellent, excellent football program down there,” Frank said.
Davie, asked about the letter at Wednesday’s Lobo football signing day news conference, said: “Anonymous letters are anonymous letters. … There’s no way to defend, and there’s no reason to defend (oneself) against an anonymous letter.”
Athletic director Paul Krebs, speaking before the Lobos’ men’s basketball game against Air Force, called the allegations baseless but said UNM would continue to investigate them.
Earlier Wednesday, Krebs said in a statement, “The University of New Mexico recently received an angry letter from an anonymous person aimed at football coach Bob Davie. Coach Davie and I have discussed the letter, and we have reviewed the allegations. We firmly believe, based on the information we have and the fact that the letter was sent anonymously, that the allegations are unfounded and untrue.”
Krebs said UNM would move up its exit interviews with senior football players from late in the spring semester, when they’re usually conducted, to the near future. This was being done at Davie’s request, Krebs said. The NCAA requires all schools to conduct exit interviews of athletes at the end of their eligibility, and the results go to the NCAA.
The writer of the letter alleges that:
♦ Players witnessed the fight between Davie and a player but were told to be quiet or that there would be consequences.
♦ A player suspended – the letter alleges it was for use of marijuana – was reinstated but continued to use marijuana after his reinstatement and provided the substance to teammates.
♦ The writer of the letter notes that the player in question is white and says a black player was dismissed from the team for a similar offense.
“Drug use on this team is bad and some of us are getting help now,” the letter stated.
♦ The letter alleges Davie had one level of discipline and accountability for players he recruited, and another, more severe level for players he inherited from former head coach Mike Locksley.
Krebs said later Wednesday via text that the letter was “not an NCAA issue” and that he expected no reaction from major college athletics’ governing body.
He said UNM athletics conducts drug tests on a “random or suspicion-based” basis.
The 2012 New Mexico football team included 23 seniors. Several seniors who spoke at the postseason football banquet expressed appreciation to Davie and his staff for treating all the players equally, regardless of who recruited them.
Journal staff writer Astrid Galvan contributed to this report.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal