In 2015, University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs organized an extremely pricey golf trip to Scotland. People were allowed to openly sign up for the trip back in June of 2015, with the price tag of $8,189 per person. During the trip, participants stayed in very high-end hotels and played golf with Krebs as well as former UNM head basketball coach Craig Neal.
The trip was designed in hopes to draw up some donations from people tagging along for Lobo Athletics. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that UNM paid for Krebs, Neal, as well as Executive Kole McKamey’s round trip to Scotland.
“It was a working trip, it was designed to immerse us with these donors, it was an intensive experience and I understand why people may question it,” Krebs said to KRQE’s investigation team on the misuse of the publics funding saying,
These expenses alone totaled up to almost $40,000. Documents in possession of the schools athletic department show that the expenses were being titled as a Lobos basketball tournament in Ireland instead of the golf trip. Earlier this week, more news came up on the Departments spending of public money.
KRQE’s investigation team headed by Larry Barker, discovered that the Universities Athletic Department did not just pay for the three Lobo employees, but three businessmen also got their vacation paid in full.
These business men are the donors Krebs touched on, and it is unknown if these would be donors actually gave any money to the program. Another $24,000 can now be added to the first total of $40,000 that the athletic department paid for with the states money.
With this being said, the Department violated the States Constitution “Anti-Donation Clause”. This clause states “neither the state nor any county, school district or municipality, except as otherwise provided in this constitution, shall directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association or public or private corporation.”
The University has a program titled the UNM Foundation, who controls the fundraising for the University, but is not directly connected to the school itself. This foundation has yet to give back any of the money to the University.
“This is not where university funds should be should be spent. I want the public to know that in the future we will not be using university funds for such activities,” UNM President Chaouki Abdallah told Barker.
President Abdallah also touched on how he still believes in Krebs and his future in the program.
“Even honorable men sometimes make a mistake... We do have checks and balances. We do internal audits sometimes we find mistakes and sometimes we miss it...”
An anonymous donator donated the sum back to the program. No discipline has been placed on Krebs or the athletic department.