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Krebs: UNM’s Spendthrift

Krebs: UNM’s Spendthrift

Send King Krebs into Walmart with $100. Of course, Krebs will come out with $150 in goods, not because he’s dishonest but simply because that’s what you do in the Kingdom of Krebs

How Long Does it Take for Lobo AD to Live Within His Means?

It’s time to end the fiscal cover-up of Lobo Althletics


It’s time to cut teacher salaries on the main campus at the University of New Mexico. Let the professors eat cake.

Raise the prices of student books. Give 10 percent of the food court profits to the Kingdom of Krebs. Charge those egghead students on the main campus an admission fee to enter the library. Raise parking fees. Force the students to go to Lobo football games and purchase Lobo Dogs.

It must be nice to live in the Kingdom of Krebs – also known as New Mexico Lobos Athletics. Spend what you want. Spend what you don’t have. Give coaches and sports administrators pay raises. Pay ex-employees consulting fees.

Or maybe it’s time to give Paul Krebs, UNM’s vice president of athletics, a lesson in Economics 101. That’s a class some universities offer to help young people with things like, er, balancing a checkbook. It’s an easy class. You figure out how much money you have. You see how much you spend. You don’t spend more than you have.

Here’s the scenario for Krebs’ introduction into Econ 101: Send King Krebs into Walmart with $100. Of course, Krebs will come out with $150 in goods, not because he’s dishonest but simply because that’s what you do in the Kingdom of Krebs, where there is little accountability and poor accounting.

Probably, there will be a security guard making 12 bucks an hour chasing down Krebs and his $300,000-plus salary in the Walmart parking lot.

Probably, Krebs would pull out his cell phone and call UNM President Robert Frank and say something like: “Bob. I don’t understand this. I’ve never had anyone hold me accountable for spending more than I have. What’s this crap? Coach Neal really needs these extra clipboards. He wants to put in an offense this year.”

Frank: “Don’t worry, Paul. I’ll take $50 out of some professor’s salary in some department nobody knows about, like drama or geospatial studies. They don’t get paid much anyway so they won’t miss it. So, you’re cool. Now, hurry and get those clipboards to Noodles. The regents were hoping Neal’s $950,000 salary package would include an offense this year.”

In case you have been living in a cave – or maybe working two jobs to make ends meet – the Kingdom of Krebs was about $1.54 million in deficit for the 2015-16 season. Yes, that’s million. And, yes, it’s the seventh time in the past nine seasons that Krebs has failed to balance the checkbook in his fiscally challenged department. This is his biggest hole yet.

Here’s an interesting pearl of wisdom from Andrew Cullen, a UNM associate vice president in the office of planning, budget and analysis. Cullen was quoted as saying the athletics department’s deficit “could have been very easily swept under the rug or hidden, but they wanted in full transparency to get us fully aware and fully briefed on that.”

Wow! Krebs has to tell the main campus when he overspends by $1.54 million. Is the main campus making him do this? Don’t they have something better to do than stick their noses into Krebs’ Kingdom? Damn, are the good-old-boy days of athletics coming to an end? Unlikely – as long as Krebs is writing the checks and Frank is sticking his head in the sand.

Of course, there are lots of reasons and excuses for this money pit, but the main reason comes down to a single word: mismanagement. But, if you prefer to go the excuse route, the Kingdom of Krebs gives you choices: The state doesn’t give us enough money; the students don’t give us enough money; our boosters don’t give us enough money; not enough fans come to our games.

Maybe the answer is to send Krebs back to school. UNM supposedly has a good one. Enroll him in Econ 101. There’s a term in sports that applies to Krebs when it comes to balancing the books: “There is always next year.”

Richard Stevens is a former sports writer for The Albuquerque Tribune. More recently, he was an insider at the Lobo athletic department. Reach him at rstev50@gmail.com.





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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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