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Report: Suspended New Mexico Coach Bob Davie Accused Of Using Racial Slurs Directed At Players

Generic photo of footballs in an end zone.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

On Thursday, New Mexico suspended head coach Bob Davie for 30 days after an investigation of the football program.

Bob Davie is set to enter his seventh year at UNM as head coach. On Wednesday, he signed his 2018 recruiting class, and gave the customary press conference to discuss the class, and the future of the program.

Yesterday, just one day before the start of New Mexico spring football, Davie was suspended for a month. The decision comes after a probe into the program.

UNM secured Chicago law firm Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose to look into allegations against the football program. The main concern discussed in the initial reports dealt with the program's handling of three sexual assault allegations involving Lobos players.

The investigation did not find conclusive evidence that Davie or his staff interfered with investigations into the cases, but recommended "strong action" to show a lack of tolerance for sexual harassment and violence. Davie was accused of telling players to "dig up dirt" on one of the accusers, and attempting to discredit her to law enforcement.

The Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose probe came on the heels of one by retired federal judge Bruce Black. Somewhat bizarrely, he was never personally interviewed during Black's investigation, but he says he did cooperate with the law firm.

Another part of the investigation dealt with treatment of players. Even more lurid details on that front have been released in subsequent reports.

According to the Associated Press, multiple witnesses say that Davie has used racial slurs, including the n-word, directed at his players. He denies those allegations.

Reports released Thursday also said witnesses reported Davie using racial slurs directed at black players — a charge he denies.

A report from the school's Office of Equal Opportunity released said witnesses told the office Davie some variation of the N-word at a practice and made a derogatory remark to four black players sitting on a golf cart.

According to the Office of Equal Opportunity report, a witness said Davie used the slur "at least once or twice a month during practices." Player reported that after Davie saw four black players on a golf cart at a summer football camp in Ruidoso, New Mexico, Davie asked, "What are you doing on a White man's tractor?"

Other witnesses reported Davie also using the slur.

Davie told investigators through his attorney that he never used the racial epithet and didn't remember the golf cart comment at a camp in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Davie released a statement today, denying some of the other allegations. He also says he will appeal the 30-day suspension. Via the Albuquerque Journal:

“Over the past nine months the University has conducted three investigations involving the football program dating back to 2012. None of these three investigations determined that I had violated any University policy. I have appealed the suspension imposed by Interim President Abdallah to the Board of Regents.

“I fully cooperated in every respect and met multiple times with the investigators, but was never asked to meet with or provide information to (the Hogan law firm). In fact, the Hogan Report reads ‘Given the lack of specific evidence that he or his staff engaged in criminal obstruction or retaliation with respect to these three incidences, we also determined that it was not necessary to interview Coach Davie or conduct a further review of additional police, OEO and medical records.’

“While I do not think it is appropriate to discuss specifics of the investigation at this time, I will respond to one several troubling allegations. Apparently some unnamed person has claimed that during a team meeting I told the players to ‘get some dirt on this [victim]’. None of the investigators told me about this claim or asked me if I ever made this remark. So there is no misunderstanding, never did I make that or any similar comment.”

Spring football began for New Mexico today. For now, it will be covered by a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Lobos head coach.

[Associated PressAlbuquerque Journal]