Monday, September 28, 2009

UNM Head Football Coach Accused of Battery

Updated 5pm

An assistant football coach at the University of New Mexico filed a police report with APD last Sunday, September 20, 2009. In the the police report, Wide Receivers' Coach Jonathan "J.B." Gerald alleges head coach Michael Locksley punched him in the face after a "heated" coaches meeting around 7:15pm the same night.

Gerald had been on leave all last week and missed Saturday's game against New Mexico State University.

Just before 11:30 this morning, Vice President of UNM Athletics Paul Krebs called me to confirm "there was an altercation in the coaches staff meeting last Sunday evening after the Air Force game."


Mr. Gerald said that earlier in the evening at about 1915 hours [7:15pm] he was attending a coaches meeting which he stated become "heated." Mr. Gerald said at one point in the meeting Coach Michael Locksley, who is the head coach for the team became angry with him and approached him in an aggressive manner. Mr. Gerald said that Coach Locksley grabbed him by the collar and as other coaches were attempting to intervene, Coach Locksley punched him in the mouth causing a small cut on the inside of his upper lip.
The reporting officer said he observed the injury and a scratch to Gerald's left forearm.

Mr. Gerald said he did not wish to file any criminal charges against Coach Locksley at this time however he did want the incident documented in a police report.
Updated: 5pm

At an afternoon news conference, Krebs says the school is addressing the "altercation" with both coaches and while Gerald has not returned to the team, Krebs said he would be welcomed back to the team with "open arms."

As of Monday, Geraldwas still on paid leave, and call to his home were not immediately returned to 770KKOB.

Locksley did not attend the news conference. Instead, he was back on the field preparing his team for this weekends game against Texas Tech.

Krebs said that the first-year coach, has apologized to his staff and team and accepted responsibility for his mistake.

In a prepared statement, released by the university's sports information office, Locksley wrote:

I apologized to Coach Gerald, the coaching staff and our team for my poor judgment. I would also like to apologize to Lobo fans. Like I remind our players, when mistakes are made, you acknowledge them and deal with the consequences.

Krebs told reporters, "In this business it is not uncommon for coaches to have heated discussions. Having said that, we cannot condone Coach Locksley's actions. You simply cannot put your hand on another coach."

Krebs said he considers the matter resolved, and blamed the partially blamed the incident on the stresses of coaching. He also said it was probably worsened by UNM's winless start.

Locksley has been given a verbal reprimand and followed it with a letter in his file. Locksley will receive no suspension.

Earlier this year, Locksley and UNM were sued by a former office assistant for sexual harrassment and wrongful termination. That suit is still pending.

Graduate Assistant Aaron Morehead is filling in for Gerald.

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