As the result of an outside investigation, University of New Mexico head coach Bob Davie was suspended without pay for 30 days by the university, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Last September, the university investigated Davie and the football program for possible mistreatment of players as well as compromising drug tests but this most recent investigation goes beyond the football program.
One such important investigation revolved around a report from a female that told campus police that a member of the football team raped her. While Davie wasn’t interviewed by the outside firm, there were reports of him telling his players to “get some dirt on this whore” in an all-team meeting. Despite that, the investigation revealed that they couldn’t prove Davie actually said that as witnesses couldn’t remember if he said that or that Davie only told them to protect their teammate when providing information.
One of the players had a video that showed the female student who made the sexual assault accusation. The woman didn’t say the player’s name on tape, but it was insinuated that she was the player’s girlfriend at the time and after talking about breaking up with him, Davie seemed to use that to undermine the woman’s credibility by saying she wanted revenge.
It’s distinctive in that the investigation couldn’t actually pinpoint a moment where Davie and his coaching staff committed an obstruction of justice. At the same time, the company who did the investigation told the university that it needed to get tougher when it comes to handling assault and especially, sexual assault allegations.
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.
As a result, New Mexico released their statement explaining the 30 day unpaid suspension.
“Both (investigations) identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes.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.”
“We will never tolerate a university culture that denies students their basic rights through illegal discrimination or retaliation against those who report sexual misconduct. Our criminal and civil investigation into the University of New Mexico includes the handling of these issues and we are reviewing the actions of officials from top to bottom and any other organizations involved.”
Essentially, while no one could definitely prove what exactly happened, the amount of smoke that has come as a result of Davie’s alleged actions seem to indicate there is a fire somewhere. Since the investigation couldn’t determine Davie’s staff obstructed justice, the university didn’t fire Davie. But because there are reports of inadequate handling of serious matters, New Mexico felt they needed to do something and suspended Davie for a month during the football offseason.
Not to shed a tear for the university or anything, but it’s certainly a situation where many will feel that if New Mexico is disciplining Davie anyway, go all the way and fire him because they obviously think he did something to deserve a suspension and given the seriousness of the allegations, a firing is completely justified. And many will feel that if Davie isn’t being charged and the outside firm couldn’t pinpoint a “smoking gun,” Davie shouldn’t be suspended even if things may appear that he’s guilty.