Love him or hate him, Chicago-based journalist Daniel Libit is set to soften his laser focus on the University of New Mexico athletics program. Libit said he hopes journalists, and the taxpayers and students who keep the school’s athletic department afloat, build on his work to hold Lobo leadership accountable on spending and transparency. NM Political Report met with Libit at Manny’s, a Jewish deli near downtown Chicago where former Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod reportedly holds court. While eating a pastrami sandwich and matzo ball soup, Libit had choice, and sometimes pointed, words for UNM, journalists covering the university’s athletics program, his critics and college sports in general. After running the website from his apartment overlooking Navy Pier for about a year, Libit is mothballing NM Fishbowl to expand his coverage beyond one relatively small fish in the pond of college athletics.
A special audit of the University of New Mexico Athletics Department found a variety of problems dating back years. According to the Office of the State Auditor, responsibility ultimately lands in the lap of the university’s Board of Regents, which is supposed to ensure the university, including the athletics program, is fiscally responsible. Auditors found in many cases the UNM Athletics program fell short of that goal. The problems include “a tangled web of transactions” according to State Auditor Tim Keller. At the center of many of the findings are two non-profits that aid the athletics department in fundraising, the UNM Foundation and the UNM Lobo Club.
A former athletics director at the University of New Mexico spent public money on friends and family for a trip to the finals of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. That’s the latest from a KRQE-TV investigative report this week . The report looked into the credit card spending of former Athletic Director Paul Krebs for trips to the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in multiple years. Krebs resigned in June amid investigations into his spending, including a golf trip to Scotland where public funds paid for donors’ expenses. Related: UNM announces new fiscal oversight on athletics
This time the TV station found that Krebs charged over $30,000 for trips to men’s basketball Final Four games, from 2014 to 2017.
A recently released email showed that former University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs asked Gov. Susana Martinez’s top political adviser for advice about the search for the university’s new men’s basketball coach. An Albuquerque Journal reporter received the email through a public records request that also revealed information on other athletic department issues, including a controversial Scotland golf trip where the university paid for donors’ expenses. The revelation came after the Journal reported political influence in Santa Fe was part of the search for a new Lobos basketball coach. The coaching job is perhaps the most prominent state position, and is always among the most highly-paid. A Journal reporter asked Krebs via email, “Are you making this hire?
Amid scandals, University of New Mexico’s president announced a shakeup in fiscal oversight at the athletics department. Associate Vice President for Institutional Support Services Chris Vallejos will be tasked with evaluating and improving financial management of the department. He will work with Janice Ruggiero, the acting director of Intercollegiate Athletics, in the initiative.[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The state’s best environmental coverage. [/perfectpullquote]Interim UNM President Chaouki Abdallah made the announcements Monday. It appears there may be financial irregularities related to the purchase of suites at The Pit, the basketball arena now known as Dreamstyle Arena.