ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico football coach Bob Davie said Friday he will appeal a 30-day suspension in connection with multiple investigations involving misconduct.
In a statement released by the school, Davie said none of the three investigations conducted over a nine-month period found he violated any school policy.
“I fully cooperated in every respect and met multiple times with the investigators, but was never asked to meet with or provide information” to a Chicago-based law firm conducting one of the probes, Davie said.
Davie said investigators from that firm, Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, never asked him about one allegation in which he was accused of asking his players to “get some dirt” on a victim of sexual assault. “So there is no misunderstanding, never did I make that or any similar comment,” Davie said.
The school announced Thursday it was suspending Davie without pay for 30 days following multiple investigations that examined whether he and coaching staff interfered with criminal investigations or misconduct cases involving players.
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.
“With certainty, I can say that I have never used the ‘N-word’ as a head football coach at the University of New Mexico,” Davie said in the statement. “Also I have never heard nor had it reported to me that any staff member has ever used the n-word.”
Davie is two seasons into a six-year contract that runs through the 2021 season and pays him $822,690 annually, not including bonuses and incentives.
Davie, the former Notre Dame coach, became New Mexico’s head coach in 2011, taking over a team that had lost 35 of its past 38 games under coach Mike Locksley, who also had a slew of embarrassing off-field problems.
He earned praise for turning around the troubled Lobos program, leading New Mexico to its first bowl game in eight years with an appearance in the 2015 New Mexico Bowl. The Lobos lost to Arizona, 45-37.
The next year, he led the Lobos to a second-straight New Mexico Bowl appearance, this time beating UTSA 23-20. The Lobos slipped to 3-9 last season. Davie has a 30-45 overall record with the Lobos.
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