New Mexico head coach Bob Davie will be suspended for 30 days without pay, following two outside investigations by the school. The Albuquerque Journal was the first to report the suspension:
A Chicago law firm hired by UNM says it could not conclude that football coaches or staff has obstructed with criminal investigations or misconduct cases involving players based on its review of three incidents, according to newly released documents.
But the firm is recommending leadership “take strong action to ensure that the University does not and will not — in any aspect of the University’s program, including athletics —tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical abuse or other prohibited misconduct against its students.” It is also urging greater oversight of the athletic department and other units “with respect to their handling of incidents of alleged misconduct” following its recent probe, according to the report it filed with UNM last month.
The first initial investigation was opened last September by retired federal judge Bruce Black, who then recommended that law firm Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose review certain issues in a second investigation. Some of those issues included alleged physical abuse of Davie’s players, and “alleged interference with and improper involvement by the football program into police and/or University investigations of sexual and physical assault by football players,” per the newspaper.
Here’s The Albuquerque Journal’s summation of those alleged incidents:
That includes the firm’s examination of one case in which a female student had reported to UNM Police that a football player had raped her.
Witnesses told Black that Davie had “held an all team meeting in which he told the players to ‘get some dirt on this whore,’” according to Hogan Marren’s report. The firm said it was not able to independently confirm Davie’s actual comments, as players and coaches it contacted said they weren’t at the meeting or didn’t remember Davie using those words or remembered only hearing they needed to protect their teammate and provide information to Davie.
However, its report states that Bob Davie personally met with a UNM police officer along with a player the coach said had information related to an investigation that another player had raped a female student. The player showed police video of the female student possibly posted after the alleged incident.
“Coach Davie argued that the video, which showed the student making comments about breaking up with someone but did not mention (the accused player) undermined the female student’s credibility by showing she was seeking revenge and continued to advocate on the (accused player’s) behalf with the officer,” the report states.
The alleged victim also later complained to student advocate complaining that football players talking about the rape case had said Davie “”was going to take care of it.” In following up, the Office of Equal Opportunity spoke to UNMPD who expressed concerns Davie was interfering with the investigation. One officer “confirmed that Coach Davie admitted he had spoken to the players about the case and produced two players who had found a (redacted word) video of the alleged victim.”
An OEO investigator wrote a memo about the concerns but OEO never opened an investigation into Davie’s possible interference.
Davie was never interviewed by the law firm during its investigation.
Here’s a full statement from interim school president Chaouki Abdallah on Thursday:
“At the University of New Mexico, our students are our first priority. This includes their academic success, support for their activities outside of the classroom and, of course, their personal well-being. My message remains the same – I am committed to cultivating a culture focused on creating an environment that respects differences and ensures the health, safety and wellness of each member of our community. Providing a culture that helps students, faculty and staff feel safe on our campus and protects from bullying and intimidation is my top priority.
”Last fall, UNM engaged a retired federal judge to perform an initial review of concerns raised by a UNM student. The results of the initial review led to my decision to engage a nationally recognized law firm to conduct a formal investigation. The investigation was not limited to the Athletics Department, but there was a specific focus on that department and its football program. Concurrently, UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) was working on a separate investigation into allegations that implicated civil rights concerns within Athletics.
”I received reports from each investigation. Both identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes. Although UNM has clear policies, procedures and options for reporting misconduct and has made important progress in simplifying these options, gaps still exist. We will close the gaps and will not accept confusion or ignorance of policies as an excuse. Behavior that violates our policies will not be tolerated. We will intensify our efforts to educate our campus community and change the culture of accountability within the University.
”UNM will quickly implement changes and corrective action, and will provide comprehensive training to all areas of the University. I am committed to providing a safe campus, with fair processes for all, and look forward to ensuring that our policies and procedures are enforced and adhered to, and our culture supports all Lobos and the greater campus community.”
As for the time frame of Davie’s suspension, he won’t be missing too much over the next month, given that Signing Day just wrapped up on Wednesday.
We’ll update this story if any additional information becomes available.