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What’s it Like to be a Lobo?

What’s it Like to be a Lobo?

'Head coach is charismatic in front of cameras but has no personal relationship with players' - former Lobo football player

Website Gets Access to Lobo Exit Interviews

Candid Assessments Shed Light on Programs


New Mexico native and journalist Daniel Libit is tearing it up over at the University of New Mexico’s Athletics Department – this time with an exclusive look at what it’s like to be a Lobo athlete.

It’s something we’re pretty sure you’ll likely not be seeing on the sports segments of the local TV news any time soon.

To get his piece, Libit used New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act to request exit interviews of departing Lobo athletes.

In one instance, despite redactions made by UNM staff, one dig at UNM Lobo Head Football Coach Bob Davie came through loud and clear: “Head coach is charismatic in front of cameras but has no personal relationship with players.”

Ouch. Although he now lives in Chicago, Libit clearly is still wired into UNM. You can read the full piece at NMFishbowl.com. Here’s a taste:

What’s it like to be a Lobo athlete?

Well …

You might be fat-shamed by a coach who calls you a “Dorito-eater.”

You might be unable to contact your academic counselor because that adviser is busy writing a term paper for another athlete.

You might be struggling to personally pay substantial medical bills from injuries incurred on the field of play.

You might be misidentified by a classroom professor who tells you, “All you black female athletes look alike.”

You might not be permitted to pursue your preferred major because the coursework conflicts with your coach’s practice schedule.

You might fear for your life during an 18-hour road trip because you play a secondary sport and the aging van you’re riding in seems barely able to remain safely on the road.

Each of these allegations were culled from the notes of exit interviews with University of New Mexico senior athletes during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The “confidential” documents [hyperlinks removed here] were obtained by NMFishbowl.com through a public records request.

They were formulated by members of the Athletic Council, a committee within UNM’s Faculty Senate, and were intended to privately provide insight to the Athletics Department about the experiences of students in their stead. The participating athletes were granted anonymity in order to talk openly with council members about their experiences at UNM.

In releasing the documents to NMFishbowl.com, the school also endeavored to redact parts of the notes that implicated specific targets of athlete criticism – although, in one notable case, it’s obvious who is being referred to: Bob Davie.

NMFishbowl.com is a watchdog, journalistic website that primarily covers the University of New Mexico, its athletics department – and the key figures who maintain it, support it, and are enriched by it. It is not affiliated with UNM, nor does it seek the university’s permission or access.


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

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