Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
New Mexico wide receivers coach Jonathan “J.B.” Gerald has been placed on administrative leave after an altercation with head coach Mike Locksley on Sept. 20, and now the head coach might not be far behind him.
ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach reported late Sunday evening that the University of New Mexico will hold a news conference Tuesday to announce whether Locksley will be suspended or fired for allegedly striking Gerald during a heated coaches meeting.
Locksley’s contract does have a clause under which the University can terminate his agreement for “adequate cause” but it would have to pay him his base salary of $300,000.
Previously, athletic director Paul Krebs had issued a verbal reprimand for Locksley and placed a written letter in his personnel file. But then the school’s human resources department decided to look into the altercation and might push for more action.
It’s the second off-field incident involving Locksley during his short tenure with the university. Last spring, a former New Mexico administrative assistant filed a complaint against Locksley alleging sexual harassment, age discrimination and retaliation. However, the Daily Lobo reported Sunday that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled Friday that the allegations were “unfounded.”
It also doesn’t help that Locksley isn’t showing results on the field. The Lobos are 0-6 and have now lost 10 straight game dating back to last season. The 0-6 start is the worst since 1987 when the team went 0-11.
“I’ve never been 0-6. There’s been some 1-5s,” Locksley said after Saturday’s game. “I don’t ever recall being 0-6 per se, but I do recall going through long stretches without wins. I think the best way to keep [this team] together is to keep loving them, keep showing them the positive things they’re doing and staying consistent. I’ve been on some staffs where you’ve had long stretches of losing and sometimes you go into panic mode.”