New Mexico said Thursday that coach Bob Davie had been suspended for 30 days without pay following an outside investigation.
The report said it could not definitively conclude that New Mexico coaches or staff had interfered or improperly handled three allegations of criminal activity or misconduct, nor could the law firm hired to do the report say it could conclude there was any conclusive evidence to support allegations of abuse against football players.
But ultimately the investigation recommended there be better leadership from university officials.
“Leadership must take stronger 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,” the report said. “Leadership must ensure that all students, including football players and other athletes, are subjected to the same expectations and standard as to their conduct.”
You can read the report in full here under the related documents header. You may want to take note that the report is dated Jan. 16, which is more than three weeks ago. Davie’s suspension was announced the day after National Signing Day.
Hogan Marren Babben & Rose was hired to investigate New Mexico’s athletic department practices after a preliminary investigation by a retired judge. Per the law firm’s report, the judge “recommended further investigation be conducted regarding two specific matters: 1) alleged physical abuse of football players and 2) alleged interference with and improper involvement by the football program into police and/or university investigations of sexual and physical assault by football players.”
The firm said it did not interview Davie regarding either of the two topics because of a lack of findings from its investigations. From part of the conclusion into the investigations of interference or improper involvement:
Based on the information regarding these three incidents obtained from our interviews of current and former football players and students who would speak to us and University staff, we cannot conclude that coaches or staff members of the football program obstructed any criminal investigations and/or interfered with, improperly involved themselves or otherwise engaged in retaliation or intimidation in police or university investigations of player misconduct involving these three incidents.
One of the allegations centered around the accusation of rape against a member of the football team. The investigation coincided with an investigation into civil rights concerns in the athletic department by the school’s Office of Equal Opportunity regarding the accusation.
The investigation mentions allegations against Davie for his role after a criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegation began. It cites witness statements to the former judge who did the preliminary investigation that said Davie “had held an all team meeting in which he told the players to ‘get some dirt on this whore’ resulting in players looking for and finding [redacted] video and in the players and their girlfriends harassing [accuser] until she left the University and moved from New Mexico.”
The charges in the case were dropped because the accuser had withdrawn from school and left the state. The report states the player admitted he kept having sex with the woman after being told to she told him to stop and that he used force. It also states Davie allegedly argued to a SMART officer that video posted by the accuser the morning after the alleged incident undermined her credibility.
The investigators from the law firm said in their report “efforts to confirm what Coach Davie actually said in the meeting were not successful.” Again, they did not interview Davie himself.
Some staff who spoke to players immediately after the closed door meeting confirmed what witnesses had told the judge was said by Coach Davie in the closed door meeting, but efforts to confirm what Coach Davie actually said in the meeting were not successful because former players and coaches contacted either claimed not to have been present at the meeting, had no recollection of Coach Davie using the words reported to the judge or only remembered that the players were simply told they needed to protect their teammate and to provide information about the incident to Coach Davie.
In addition to his 30-day suspension, Davie is required to participate in “specific in-person training and acknowledgement of his obligation to comply with university policies.” The athletic department will undergo mandatory Title IX training and cultural sensitivity training and members will receive one-on-one training “by a national firm to educate student athletes and staff members about proper reporting lines.”
According to New Mexico Interim President Chaouki Abdallah, “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.”
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