The recent revelation by Larry Barker, regarding the University of New Mexico, is fascinating and disconcerting! The UNM Athletic Department sponsored a ‘fundraising” golf adventure to Scotland in 2015. Main principals were Athletic Director Paul Krebs and Men’s Basketball Coach Craig Neal. Others on board were family members and potential donors. A primary objective was to build relationships! Most paid their own expenses; yet, Krebs, Neal, and Lobo Club Executive Director Cole Mckamey were reimbursed by the Athletic Department. A few donors received gratis status. UNM was charged an additional $13,000 by the out of state travel agency for failure to perform on the golf trip. The jury has yet to determine if the adventure were a financial success. The junket may also be in violation of New Mexico’s anti-donation clause.
NM Racquetball (a Non-profit) operates with a modest budget, relying on pay for play fees, advertising, contributions, and grants in order to sustain operations. We also have experience in the golf arena, having held tournaments as fundraisers, each generating profits of a few hundred dollars. The 40 year New Mexico Racquetball Association history includes relationships with public higher education institutions; including UNM , NMHU, ENMU Roswell, Clovis Community College, NM Junior College, and the Design College of Santa Fe. We appreciate having had access to their facilities. Without access, our programs would have been severely compromised. As a gesture of thanks, we contribute to scholarship programs and we help underwrite travel expenses for club team members. The cadre of available venues within the private and semi-private sectors continues to diminish. We are embedded in an industry mindset of court transformation.
Flashback to 2011…
Mike Locksley, UNM head football coach, lost his job after a 2 win/26 loss record and legal entanglements over 2+ years. He was paid $700,000 for a contract buy-out. A short time later, the UNM Administration announced an austerity move, one which would close its campus recreation center on weekends. This move would save them about $50,000 per year. It also would preclude many of our members from utilizing the racquetball/handball court venue, which is the largest in the State. Our Association would be directly affected, with little opportunity to hold formal events.
In an unpublished letter to the Albuquerque Journal, I mentioned:
…Locksley’s bonehead buyout.
…Many students and others find recreation time only on weekends.
…Public institutions with recreation centers should be open 24/7.
…I had previously written letters to administrators at both NMHU and
WNMU regarding their limited facility access for students and others.
In closing, UNM came to its senses and Johnson Center h eld on to its previous schedule. We hope to continue our relationship with UNM and other colleges and universities in New Mexico. We also hope that our private venue options increase. The mission of NM Racquetball is to provide educational and recreational opportunities to the widest cross-section of the population. We lead and promote a ‘Lifetime Sport/Physical Activity.’ We want to thrive in spite of a climate in which
‘less is better.’
22-25 June NM Games, Racquetball, Squash, Handball
Midtown Sports & Wellness, Albuquerque
21-22 July Taos Summer, Spa; Taos, NM
18-20 August Meadow City, Rec Center; Las Vegas, NM
29 Aug- 2 Sept 33rd IRF World Seniors, NM Sports & Wellness
& UNM; Albuquerque. (R2sports.com)
Tim Blasiman and Dean Schear will represent NM Racquetball
at the annual USAR Leadership Conference later this year. The host
venue is the USOTC Training Center in Colorado Springs.
‘The great healer is time & space’ TY