Accountability and UNM Athletics | The Line

Accountability and UNM Athletics | The Line


>>WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE. WE JUST HEARD FROM JEFF
GRAMMER TALKING ABOUT THE UNM REGENTS RECENT DECISION TO CUT
FOUR SPORTS AND REDUCE ROSTERS OF SEVERAL ADDITIONAL SPORTS. NOW IT’S BEEN A WEEK OR SO, IT
HAS BEEN CRAZY ON FACEBOOK AND RADIO TALK SHOWS, FOR VERY
GOOD REASON, BUT NOW WE HAVE A WEEK TO LOOK BACK. THERE WAS THE HOW THIS
DECISION WAS DONE AND ROLLED OUT TO THE PUBLIC AND THE
ACTUAL DECISION ITSELF. TALK ABOUT THE HOW. SOME CONCERN OUT THERE ABOUT
THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT VIOLATION. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF THAT, SO
FAR? >>I WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, IT
SEEMS LIKE THEY MOVED INCREDIBLY QUICKLY. I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN BUILDING
FOR SOME TIME. THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN TALKED
ABOUT FOR YEARS, BUT THE REVEAL OF THE SPORTS THAT WERE
ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK AND ACTUAL VOTE CAME VERY, VERY
QUICKLY. AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY
PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHY THERE WASN’T A VIGOROUS LONGER
DISCUSSION ABOUT IT BEFORE THE REGENTS VOTE. IN MY EXPERIENCE, GOVERNMENTS
TEND TO MOVE FAIRLY SLOWLY MOST OF THE TIME. YOU GO THROUGH MULTIPLE
DIFFERENT STEPS. SO, I WAS STRUCK BY THE SPEED
WITH WHICH WE LEARNED THE SPORTS WERE PROPOSED FOR
ELIMINATION AND THE ACTUAL VOTE. >>GOOD POINT. PICK UP ON THAT. WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT OF THE
UNIVERSITY, NEW SPORTS AD, COULD BE REASONABLY ASSUMED,
LOOK, THEY HAVE THIS DUMPED IN THEIR LAPS, THEY HAD A TOUGH
DECISION THAT FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW WAS THE RIGHT
DECISION, BUT WAS THERE ENOUGH COMMUNITY INPUT ON THIS FOR
PEOPLE WHO ARE BRAND NEW TO THE COMMUNITY AND I AM NOT
SURE FROM WHAT I AM READING IF THERE WAS STRONG ENOUGH TAKE
ON WHAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS OR DOESN’T WANT, ESPECIALLY WITH
THE SOCCER. SOMETHING SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN
MISSED HERE. >>COMPLETELY MISSED. IT IS VERY DISAPPOINTING,
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS I SAID ON THIS
SHOW WHEN WE GOT THE NEW PRESIDENT, SIT DOWN AND TALK
TO PEOPLE, DON’T FLY OUT WITH DECISIONS. DON’T DO IT IN A VACUUM. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS
HAPPENING. >>AGAIN, THERE ARE FOUR
SPORTS, BUT THE SOCCER, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO TALK ABOUT
BECAUSE THIS IS LIKE ONE OF THE GOOD TEAMS, THIS IS ONE OF
THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT MY ALMA MATER, FOLKS, OKAY? WE DON’T HAVE BRIAN URLACHER
ANYMORE, ALL RIGHT? IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY HAVE A FEW
BRIANS ON THE SOCCER TEAM. I THINK THERE COULD SERIOUSLY
BE OPEN MEETINGS VIOLATIONS WITH THE QUICKNESS OF THE
VOTE, ABSOLUTELY. BECAUSE I MEAN THAT NEVER
HAPPENS. PEOPLE DON’T UNANIMOUSLY VOTE
ON SOMETHING WITHOUT DISCUSSION. WE HAVE ALL SEEN IT OVER AND
OVER WHERE WHETHER IT IS CITY COUNCILOR OR STATE
LEGISLATURE. IT’S JUST SUCH A QUICK
DECISION FOR THE STUDENTS AND I THINK THAT WE CAN SAY WE
HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT FOREVER, BUT IF YOU’RE THE
STUDENT WHO FOUND OUT THAT MORNING THAT THE REASON YOU
CAME TO NEW MEXICO, YOU KNOW, WE’LL STILL PAY YOUR
SCHOLARSHIP. WELL, GREAT, BUT I CAN’T DO
THE SPORT I LOVE AND THE WHOLE REASON I HAVE BEEN TRAINING
SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID TO DO THIS. >>THE SKI TEAM COACH HAS A
NEW JOB. NO ONE IS GOING TO WAIT. YOU HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE,
PRESS ON. SO, THERE IS A LOT OF TURMOIL
THAT IS GOING TO COME. IS THERE SOMETHING HERE, YOU
KNOW, WE HAVE STATE LEGISLATORS, FIVE DEMOCRATS
SPECIFICALLY THIS WEEK THAT SAID, LOOK, LET’S TAKE A LOOK
AT THIS AT THE LEGISLATURE. WE HAVE SOME MONEY. DAN MENTIONED OIL AND GAS BUMP
WE HAVE HERE. IS THAT A VIABLE SOLUTION OR
IS RIDING OIL AND GAS NOT WHERE WE SHOULD BE? >>I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE
ACTUAL SOLUTION IS. IN MY TIME COVERING THE
LEGISLATURE, THAT UNM HAS ASKED FOR MONEY, MAYBE NOT
SPECIFICALLY IN THIS SCENARIO THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, BUT IT
HAS BEEN FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND RAISES QUESTIONS OF WHY DO
WE HAVE ATHLETICS PROGRAMS AT A UNIVERSITY OR AT OUR
SPECIFIC UNIVERSITY. AND WHATEVER THAT REASON IS,
THEN WE SHOULD EVALUATE WHICH TEAMS WE SHOULD REALLY VALUE. IS IT A MONEY ISSUE? ARE WE TRYING TO RAISE MONEY
WITH TICKETS? >>AMAZING. INTERESTING. FACTOID, MERRITT ALLEN, OVER
THE LAST FEW YEARS, AN ANALYSIS OF UNM’S PROGRAMS,
MORE THAT 2 DOZEN UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE U.S. HAVE
ELIMINATED VARSITY SPORTS PROGRAMS IN THE LAST FIVE
YEARS TO ADDRESS FINANCIAL EQUITY OR OTHER CONCERNS. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO GET
RID OF THE GIANT SPORTS. WE DIDN’T TAKE THAT ROUTE, DID
WE? IT SEEMS LIKE THE PUBLIC IS
NOT QUITE CONVINCED THAT WE DUG THROUGH EVERY POSSIBLE
SOLUTION. THAT IS MY SENSE OF IT. >>I THINK THE SAD REALITY IS
ONLY SPORTS THAT GENERATE REVENUE FOR UNIVERSITY ARE
BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL. AND A LOSING FOOTBALL TEAM
WILL ALWAYS GENERATE MORE REVENUE THAN A WINNING SOCCER
TEAM. THAT IS UNFORTUNATE. >>WHY IS THAT? >>I THINK, IT IS VERY
CULTURAL. IT IS THE ALUMNI, THE HYPE
ABOUT IT. SOCCER IS STILL A RELATIVELY
NEW SPORT COMPARED TO FOOTBALL AT THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL AND I
MUCH PREFER TO WATCH SOCCER, AND IT BROKE MY HEART TO HEAR
THIS DECISION, BUT I THINK WE ALSO — WE ARE LOOKING AT
YEARS OF MISMANAGEMENT FROM INCOMPETENCE OR INDIFFERENCE
IN THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT AND WHETHER VIOLATIONS OF THE OPEN
MEETINGS ACT, I DON’T THINK IT MATTERS, BECAUSE THE REMEDY
WOULD BE GO BACK AND HAVE PUBLIC INFORMATION, DO ANOTHER
PUBLIC VOTE. AND GIVEN THE SPEED OF IT,
HAVING SERVED ON BOARDS, HAVING SERVED ON BOARDS OF
ORGANIZATIONS IN CRISIS, THERE IS A CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM
WORKING RIGHT NOW, I WOULD ALMOST GUARANTEE IT, AT UNM
ATHLETICS AND THERE HAVE BEEN EXECUTIVE SESSION BRIEFINGS
FOR REGENTS WHERE THIS WAS PROBABLY THE BEST DEAL THEY
COULD COME UP WITH. WHAT THEY NEED TO DO IS SHARE
THE INFORMATION WITH THE REST OF US. >>INTERESTING, ANOTHER SIDE
ISSUE THAT CAME UP IS APPROPRIATIONS FOR TWO
SPECIFIC UNIVERSITIES, UNM AND STATE IN LAS CRUCES. THERE IS A BIT OF A CONFUSING
THING HERE. IT SEEMS LIKE ON PAPER STATE
IS GETTING ABOUT A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS MORE DIRECTLY
FOR THEIR SPORTS PROGRAMS. BUT WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT
UNM DOES GET ALMOST EQUAL MONEY BUT IN A DIFFERENT
ROUTE. CAN YOU GIVE US CLARITY ON
THAT? HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO DIG
AT THAT? I AM CONFUSED ON THIS
HONESTLY. >>I CAN’T CLEAR THAT UP, IT
MAY HAVE TO DO WITH ACCOUNTING ISSUE. THIS COMES UP ALL THE TIME
THAT AS PROGRAMS ARE TRYING TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR SOMETHING,
BOTH SIDES MAY BE ARGUING THEY RECEIVE LESS MONEY THAN THE
OTHER AND IT MAY BE WITH HOUSE SPENDING AND HOW IT IS
CATEGORIZED. LEGISLATORS CLEARLY ARE REALLY
INTERESTED IN THIS ISSUE AND WANT TO HELP. THEY WANT TO RESPOND TO THEIR
CONSTITUENTS. BUT, I WOULD POINT OUT THAT
PART OF THE PROBLEM THAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH IS NOT
NECESSARILY FINANCIAL. IT IS THESE GENDER EQUITY
ISSUES. SO, IT COULD BE THAT THIS
ISN’T AS SIMPLE AS THE LEGISLATURE FUNDING A SOCCER
TEAM OR VOLLEYBALL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. YOU KNOW. THERE MAY BE BROADER
STRUCTURAL ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED AND THOSE MAY BE
MORE COMPLICATED THAN FINANCIAL. >>THAT BRINGS US BACK TO THE
PRESIDENT SETTING THE TONE FOR ALL THESE THINGS. AS I THINK ABOUT IT HERE IN MY
NOODLING, NOTHING HAPPENS IN A VACUUM, OTHER SPORTS ARE GOING
TO BE AFFECTED BY THIS SOMEHOW. I AM NOT QUITE SURE HOW BUT IT
IS GOING TO BE. >>YOU KNOW. >>WHY WOULD YOU COME HERE IF
YOU WERE A STUDENT THAT WAS IN ANYTHING BUT BASKETBALL OR
FOOTBALL? YOU SAVED A MILLION DOLLARS. WHAT IS THEIR BUDGET? WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION DOING? COME ON PEOPLE. BESIDES FIGHTING LAWSUITS. YOU HAVE A WHOLE FOUNDATION IN
ADDITION TO THE LEGISLATURE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE RAISING
MONEY FOR THE UNIVERSITY. WHAT ARE THESE TOP CATS MAKING
FOR SALARIES? I GET SO TIRED OF, OH, YOU
HAVE TO CHANGE SALARY IN ORDER TO TRACT SOMEBODY AND WE DID
AND WE ARE EXCITED AND THIS IS A HUGE BLUNDER ON HER PART
RIGHT OFF THE BAT. >>WHO IS SHE? >>WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? >>STOKES, ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THIS IS A HUGE
BLUNDER. I MEAN, WHERE IS THE PR FIRM? THERE IS NO REASON TO DO THIS
AND THE GENDER EQUALITY THING, WE ARE GOING TO CUT THIS SPORT
BECAUSE WE ARE NOT GOING TO BUILD YOU A PLACE TO PRACTICE? WHY CAN’T THE MEN AND WOMEN
SHARE THE PRACTICE, YOU GET IT IN THE MORNINGS, YOU GET IT IN
THE AFTERNOONS. LET’S QUIT BEING RIDICULOUS. WE ARE NOT GOING TO CUT A
WHOLE SPORT BECAUSE THE GUYS HAVE A PLACE TO PRACTICE AND
YOU CAN’T USE IT, THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. >>AS WE TAPED HERE ON
THURSDAY MIDDAY, I WATCHED AN EXCITING SOCCER GAME AN TV AND
IT IS SO CLEAR THAT SOCCER IS ON THE RISE. IT IS AMAZING. THE FANS WERE GOING OUT OF
THEIR MINDS. YOU WATCH A LOT OF SOCCER. IT WAS JUST SO INTERESTING,
KIND OF A PRESEASON THING BUT MS. STOKES SAID, LOOK, IT WAS
ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SPORTS AND I AM NOT SURE IF FOOTBALL IS
THE FUTURE FOR A LOT OF FOLKS HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM
OTHER FOLKS? >>I DO THINK LIKE MERRITT
SAID, IT IS SO FRESH IN PEOPLES’ MIND, I KNOW THEY
HAVE — FANS HAVE TRIED TO EMULATE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE
FOOTBALL GAMES. FOOTBALL GAMES IS THE WHOLE
THING. THERE IS GAME DAY. YOU SIT OUT THERE ALL DAY IN
THE PARKING LOT BEFORE THE GAME. THEY WERE TRYING TO GET THAT
GOING WITH SOCCER GAMES. THE TICKET PRICES ARE A LITTLE
BIT LOWER. YOU’RE EXCITED, STILL EXCITING
THING, BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, SCORING IT COMES DOWN TO JUST
THINGS THAT WE ARE NOT USED TO AS, I GUESS, NEW MEXICAN WANTS
THEM. YOU DON’T HAVE THE HITTING
LIKE FOOTBALL OR FAST SCORING LIKE BASKETBALL. PEOPLE ARE COMING AROUND
THOUGH. >>MY COLLEAGUE SAT IN THIS
CHAIR AND TALKED TO PEOPLE FROM ALBUQUERQUE SOUL, THE NEW
SOCCER OUTFIT THAT IS HERE, AND I COULDN’T HELP — IN THAT
INTERVIEW I COULDN’T HELP, ANDY, BUT THINK ABOUT LOSING
THIS NCAA PROGRAM IS ACTUALLY A BLOW TO THEM AS WELL. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOUR-YEAR
STAR OUT OF UNM WHO DECIDES TO PLAY FOR ALBUQUERQUE SOUL, YOU
HAVE THIS BUILT-IN AUDIENCE ALREADY. YOU CAN TURN THE WICKET. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU CAN’T JUST
END THINGS AND OTHER PEOPLE NOT BE AFFECTED. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE ABOUT
SOCCER’S FUTURE HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE WITH NO NCAA LEVEL
SOCCER? >>I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT, TOO. THAT IS CORRECT — YOU CAN
PULL PEOPLE FROM THAT TEAM, PLAYERS, I MEAN. WHAT IS THE DRAW FOR FUTURE
PLAYERS TO COME HERE? WE DON’T HAVE THAT, LIKE YOU
SAID, BUILT IN INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE FANS, BUT, THEN AGAIN,
MAYBE THAT IS WHERE WE GO TO WATCH SOCCER NOW. >>GOOD POINT. WE HAD THE RIGHT COACH,
EVERYTHING. WE HAD ALL THE PIECES IN OUR
SOCCER PROGRAM AND HE IS STILL FIGHTING. GIVE THIS GUY A LOT OF CREDIT. >>NOW WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW
WHAT YOU THINK OF ANY TOPICS COVERED ON THIS WEEK’S
PROGRAM. GO TO NEW MEXICO INFOCUS.ORG
OR CONNECT WITH US ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER. >>I AM GENE GRANT. THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR NEW
MEXICO INFOCUS. AS ALWAYS WE APPRECIATE YOUR
TIME AND EFFORT TO STAY INFORMED AND ENGAGED. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, INFOCUS. >>FUNDING FOR NEW MEXICO
INFOCUS PROVIDED BY THE MCCUNE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AND
VIEWERS LIKE YOU. >>

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