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.
The head of the University of New Mexico Athletics is leaving as the program finds itself the subject of a special audit and under increased scrutiny thanks to fundraising and spending habits. UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs announced Friday he will step down effective June 30 of this year. Krebs first began his job as athletics director in 2006. As in many states, UNM coaches of high-profile programs—football and men’s basketball—are the highest-paid state employees. Interim UNM President Chaouki Abdallah praised Krebs and noted that he had been trying to leave for some time.
The owners of WisePies, the company that has the naming rights to the legendary University of New Mexico basketball arena known to most as The Pit, solicited political donations from the university’s athletic director. NM Fishbowl, a news website focusing on UNM, first reported on the news earlier this week. WisePies, a pizza chain located primarily in the Albuquerque area, owns the naming rights to The Pit. The arena is officially called WisePies Arena aka The Pit. According to the NM Fishbowl story, a spokesperson for WisePies asked UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs if he and his wife would co-host a campaign fundraiser for Candace Gould, a Republican then running for state Senate.