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EEOC Claims Against New Mexico's Mike Locksley Resolved

Oct 12, 2009 – 9:10 PM
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Terrance Harris

Terrance Harris %BloggerTitle%

Mike LocksleyEmbattled New Mexico coach Mike Locksley has resolved one issue that's been dogging him in his short tenure.

Locksley and longtime office worker Sylvia Lopez have resolved the issues that led to 54-year-old Lopez filing a sexual harassment /age discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this past spring against the 39-year-old coach, the school announced Monday. All EEOC claims have been withdrawn.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the resolution was Lopez deeming the whole situation a misunderstanding and refuting the portion that claims sexual harassment in the filing with EEOC. Under the agreement, Lopez keeps her job.

"I truly wish the best for coach Locksley and hope he has a great season, and career with UNM. I regret that this misunderstanding may have created a negative perception of coach Locksley." Sylvia Lopez said in a released statement. "I feel very positive about working for UNM and know I can be an asset to the University because of my years of experience and skills."

UNM vice president for athletics Paul Krebs also expressed relief in the issue that was the first of Locksley's many in Albuquerque.

"We are pleased we could clear the air and everyone involved can move forward in a positive direction," he said in the released statement.

But that is only part of the unrest surrounding Locksley at New Mexico. He is now under investigation by the school's Human Resource department after he and assistant coach J.B. Gerald got into a physical confrontation during a coaches meeting last month. Gerald, whom Locksley brought over with him from Illinois, alleges the head coach punched him.

Locksley, who is also under fire for being 0-6 in his first season as a head coach, denies throwing a punch.

ESPN reported Monday that there is a press conference set for Tuesday to announce the school's findings in the altercation. UNM associate athletic director for communications Greg Remington told FanHouse on Monday that was the first he's heard of a planned press conference.

But at least Locksley has one issue resolved that had been hanging over head and lumped in as a reason for some to cry for his dismissal before his first season is complete.

UNM president David Schmidly and Krebs issued a joint statement Monday pledging their support for Locksley.

"We stand behind Coach Locksley and know that he has performed and continues to perform his job in a professional and respectable manner and will do so in the future," the release said.
Filed under: Sports