Locksley faces harassment accusations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico football coach Mike Locksley, on the job less than six months, has been accused of sexual harassment, age discrimination and retaliation by a former administrative assistant.

Sylvia Lopez filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She worked under Locksley at the Lobos football office before transferring last month, then quit her university job May 15.

Locksley did not immediately respond to telephone messages left Friday by The Associated Press at New Mexico's football office and through an athletic department publicist.

In a statement released to Albuquerque television station KRQE, Locksley said: "I had always treated everybody with respect. That is who I am. Change and transition is always tough on everybody. Out of respect for all involved, that is all I am going to say."

Athletic director Paul Krebs said the university is taking the complaint seriously. He declined to discuss the claim in detail, saying it was a personnel matter and the EEOC was likely to conduct an investigation.

However, Krebs stood behind the first-year coach, who was hired Dec. 9.

"He is an outstanding football coach. I believe he is an outstanding individual," Krebs said. "I'm really looking forward to what he's able to build here long-term with our football program."

Krebs said the university has started an internal investigation, but wouldn't disclose details.

Lopez couldn't be reached for comment.

Locksley, the offensive coordinator at Illinois for the past four seasons, took over at New Mexico after Rocky Long stepped down Nov. 17. Locksley retained Long's administrative staff.