On Sunday, June 30, 2019, the Albuquerque Journal did an “exit interview” article of Jeremy Fishbein, the highly successful coach of the UNM Soccer Coach team. You can read the full article at the below link:
To quote the article:
“For more than 18 years, this relatively nondescript office in the heart of the University of New Mexico athletics complex on the South Campus was the hub of one of the top programs in school history. Although now there is but one unlabeled box and a generic statue sitting on an otherwise empty shelf, this is where Jeremy Fishbein built the Lobos from a nice little regional men’s soccer team into a national power with international scope.
But now, as June comes to a close, the program is no more, shuttered by a new administration not concerned so much with past successes as future revenue and Title IX challenges. The men’s soccer team is one of four sports cut, effective Monday [July 1, 2019] along with men’s and women’s skiing and beach volleyball.”
To repeat: “the hub of one of the top programs in school history … “Jeremy Fishbein built the Lobos from a nice little regional men’s soccer team into a national power with international scope” .
AMPUTATING SUCCESSFUL ATHLETIC PROGRAM TO SAVE NECROTIC PROGRAMS
On July 20, 2019, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted to eliminate four UNM Lobo sports teams under a plan they proclaimed would improve the ailing athletic department’s overall health. The UNM regents approved cutting men’s soccer, men’s and women’s skiing, and women’s beach volleyball. All three programs are considered 3 of the more successful programs at UNM, especially the UNM Soccer Program
Athletes, coaches, parents, alumni and other community members delivered impassioned pleas and some withering criticism of the proposal advanced by athletic director Eddie Nuñez and President Garnett Stokes. The two called the cuts a critical step toward addressing long-standing financial problems and newly surfaced Title IX compliance concerns. The regents voted 6-0 to adopt the recommendation.
The UNM Athletics Program missed budget eight times in a 10-year span and had accrued a $4.7 million deficit to the university’s reserves by the end of fiscal year 2017. Financial management issues also prompted investigations or other scrutiny from the state auditor, attorney general and higher education department.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR CHARGED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL
On February 6, 2019, Former University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs, who left in 2017 amid questions over spending, was charged with fraud, money laundering and other felonies, state prosecutors said.
The attorney general’s office said in a criminal complaint that Krebs used his position “to pursue his private interest by planning and participating in a trip to Scotland that was paid for by the University of New Mexico using public money.”
Prosecutors said Krebs intentionally misappropriated public funds and used them to pay for him and other associates to be part of the Scotland golf tour. Krebs then circumvented university policy and signed a contract committing the school to pay up to $250,000.
For more see:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
During the last 30 years, soccer in Albuquerque has flourished and excelled in Albuquerque, especially in grade schools, high schools and pre school programs. Today, it is very common to find grown men in their 30s who played soccer in grade school, mid- school and high school and who play in city adult leagues.
Soccer is now part of the city’s fabric with programs for children, adolescence and young adults. Soccer programs throughout the city have proven far more important and more inclusive for Albuquerque athletes than football programs could even hope to imagine.
Thank you UNM Board of Regents for pouring millions of dollars down failed athletic programs such as UNM Football that for decades has been a black-hole of failure hoping for a winning season that has never materialized for decades.
Now is the time for the University of New Mexico Board of Regents to stop pouring millions of dollars of taxpayer money down failed athletic programs and dedicate itself to delivering quality college education. To hell with Title IX compliance.