It’s fair to say that even halfway through the regular season, the inaugural year of the Mike Locksley regime at UNM has been an unqualified mess. We’ve documented the litany of off-field scandals already - culminating in the surreal incident where Locksley punched his wide receivers coach, J.B. Gerald, in the face - but let’s go ahead and add “0-6″ to that list, with the Lobos joining only five other I-A teams who still have donuts in the W column this late.
After considerable public outcry, the University of New Mexico brass reconsidered their earlier decision to simply verbally reprimand Locksley, and a probe from the HR department was re-opened. In fact, according to ESPN.COM, university officials have decided to announce a decision on Locksley’s fate on Tuesday.
Turns out, though, that the university announced a resignation over the incident ahead of time today. Did Locksley have a sudden pang of morality over the whole incident and excuse himself from further employment? No, of course not; the victim, J.B. Gerald, is calling it quits.
It looks like wide receivers coach Jonathan “J.B.” Gerald is on his way out of UNM.
Athletics Director Paul Krebs confirmed Sunday that Gerald turned in his University-issued cell phone and car keys on Friday.
Gerald has been on paid administrative leave since he filed a police report on the evening of Sept. 20 alleging that Lobo football coach Mike Locksley approached him in an “aggressive manner” after a “heated” exchange during an offensive staff meeting.
Locksley said he wasn’t aware that Gerald had turned in his keys and said that he hasn’t had a conversation with Gerald since the first-year head coach last apologized to him in person.
On one hand, it’s a little hard to blame Gerald for wanting to get out of town. The whole healthy superior-subordinate relationship has clearly flown off the rails, crashed, and burned. If a boss punches his assistant in the face and is not asked to leave immediately, said assistant is no longer in a welcome place of employment. Said assistant is also considering a lawsuit, we would think, but that’s pure speculation.
On the other hand, though, it’s still a little disappointing to see Gerald walk out like this. In a perverse way, it’s almost as if the problem just took care of itself (it hasn’t, of course, but an extreme Mike Locksley partisan might be quick to think so). Further, if anything, this move by Gerald would seem to indicate that he doesn’t believe Locksley will lose his job over this - and let’s be frank, if Locksley’s fired, that’s also probably bad news for Gerald, since assistants rarely survive a coaching turnover.
Last week, we wondered if Krebs was cognizant of the possibility that he could lose his students as a source of support for the football team. Now, we’re just wondering if Krebs knows that he might lose control of his football team. Winless and rocked by scandal? When’s it all too much for Locksley’s job to survive?