Gerald filed a police report Sept. 20, claiming that Locksley punched him in the face and split his lip following an argument during a staff meeting. News of the altercation began seeping out slowly the following day, but it became an avalanche this week as the school opened up about the incident.
Locksley has not shied away and he has admitted his mistake to his team, Gerald, Krebs and the media. Locksley and Krebs dispute the fact Gerald was punched in the face, citing no witness accounts. Still, they realize it all looks bad on the first-time head coach, his program and the university.
Locksley, who is in his first season as head coach of the Lobos, was given a letter of reprimand for his part in the altercation. Gerald, who has been on paid leave, has shown no interest in pressing charges.
But with the heat the athletic department continues to take for its perceived slap on the wrist to Locksley, the department decided to ask the HR department to investigate the incident. Depending on what the department finds in its investigation, Locksley could face suspension or dismissal. It is likely, however, that it will be determined that the athletic department handled things appropriately.
To this point, it has been the issue that just won't go away. Krebs has been upfront about his disappointment in the decision his coach made to put his hands on another coach.
"I wish I had chance to do it all over again," Locksley told FanHouse while sitting in his office Tuesday night. "I would definitely make a different decision."
The Lobos are 0-4 heading into a non-conference game Saturday at Texas Tech.
But Locksley's issues are greater than wins and losses. Since being hired last December, he has now been involved in two off-the-field incidents that have brought undo spotlight on the athletic department. In May a 54-year-old former office worker filed a sexual harassment/age discrimination complaint with the EEOC against the 39-year-old coach.
That case is still pending and is heading into mediation. But on the heels of that comes the altercation with Gerald. Combine those incidents with the fact the Lobos haven't played well this season and it has spelled trouble early in Locksley's tenure.
But both Locksley and Krebs take issue with the lumping of the sexual harassment/age discrimination claim together with the latest incident.
"I take full responsibility as the leader of the program for the distraction that I've caused," Locksley said. "It's unfair that people like to piggyback it to an earlier incident that is working itself through the process. For us, we've put it behind us as a program and we're just moving forward and the best thing I know to do is to focus on the football because when it's ultimately said and done, the bottom line is I've got to find ways to win ballgames."
Krebs certainly agrees.
"I think it's compounded by the fact we are 0-4. If we were 3-1, I think people would look at it much differently," he said. "The bottom line is he was wrong, but has it threatened my trust in his leadership? I still think he is a very good football coach, he's surrounded himself with a very outstanding staff. They are recruiting like heck, they are coaching these guys up. I think the future is bright. We've got to weather this year and turn the page."
Making it difficult right now is the latest issue hanging over the program. Gerald hasn't said whether he will return to the program or not. But when FanHouse reached him Tuesday night, he indicated that he was considering a return for his players' sake.
Gerald, 27, is in his first full-time assistant coaching role after Locksley brought him over from Illinois. Locksley was Illinois' offensive coordinator when he hired Gerald as his graduate assistant after he had spent time as graduate assistant at Penn State.
Gerald declined to talk to FanHouse further on Tuesday night.
"There is a history there, I think a love and respect for one another," Krebs said. "So this has been a very emotional issue on both sides.
"It's unfortunate that it happened, it's happened, we're trying to deal with it and be respectful to all parties and continue to manage a football team and recognize that coach Locksley's career -- I don't want to say is at stake in this instance -- but there has already been enough turmoil in his tenure as a head coach that we've got to put all of this noise behind us and begin about rebuilding our football program."