Posted by Tom Fornelli
Ever since Mike Locksley became the head coach at New Mexico , the program has received more attention for things Locksley has done off the field than what his team has done on it. Locksley and the school are currently being sued by former receivers coach Jonathan Gerald, who alleges that Locksley choked him and punched him in the face.
Locksley also settled another lawsuit out of court, this one from a former secretary who took exception to Locksley's job requirements.
Combine all that with a record of 1-13 at the school, and the last thing Locksley needs is any more off the field distractions. Oh, hey, guess what?
New Mexico officials are downplaying an incident that occurred in July between coach Mike Locksley and Ryan Tomari , the sports editor of the student newspaper the Daily Lobo, at the Uptown Sports Bar and Grill in Albuquerque.
The university also denied it is involved in a possible coverup to protect Locksley.
According to the Daily Lobo , Locksley became involved in a heated exchange with Tomari over a column the sports editor wrote that was critical of the coach and program. Tomari later told his bosses that he became uncomfortable with the discussion and Locksley's demeanor because the coach used profanity.
Now is where things get fun.
Tomari says he's no longer asking Locksley questions during press conferences and trying to "stay as far away from him as I can" because he's just not comfortable being around the coach. Now, the bar in which this alleged confrontation took place has video of the incident, which Locksley went back to the bar a few days later to obtain.
The video was also allowed to be viewed by Albuquerque Journal reporter Greg Archuleta. The Daily Lobo asked for a copy of the tape from the bar's owner, Adam Krafft , but were denied. Krafft did send them an email explaining why.
“Your employee was not confronted, and the tape shows a respectful encounter,” he said in an e-mail response. “I gave a copy to Locksley since he is always misrepresented. Write something good about the program, and fill the seats. All the negativity doesn’t help the program win.”
The school had a similar response after seeing the tape, which they watched with Archuleta.
“After viewing the 22-minute video, we (Athletics) voluntarily allowed the Albuquerque Journal access to the video, and after viewing it with the Journal, they came to the identical conclusion of the athletic department that there was nothing to the dialogue, and there was no story or wrongdoing on the part of coach Locksley or the reporter.”
The school then disposed of the video because "there was nothing on it. There was no reason to keep it."
So judging by all accounts, it seems as if Tomari was making the encounter seem a lot worse than it actually was, though who knows what Locksley said to him. The video just shows the two talking. Still, even if there's nothing concrete behind Tomari's allegation, this really isn't something that Locksley needs to be dealing with at the moment.