UPDATE: ESPN’s Bruce Feldman reports “New Mexico says it will have a presser with the school AD at 5:30 ET about the Locksley “altercation.”
Last week I reported that New Mexico Football Coach Mike Locksley told the media he was trying to be a calming influence to his players, in preventing them from “blowing their load” before Saturday’s game.
Turns out Locksley (allegedly) needs to heed his own advice - with his assistant coaches.
Peter St. Cyr of KKOB-AM in Albuquerque reports today that the University of New Mexico has confirmed that Locksley has been accused of punching Lobos Wide Receivers Coach Jonathan “J.B.” Gerald in the mouth.
The alleged attack took place Sept. 20 during a UNM coaches meeting. Gerald has since filed a police report and taken leave from the team.
Police report details of the altercation after the jump.
Mr. Gerald said that earlier in the evening at about 1915 hours [7:15pm] he was attending a coaches meeting which he stated become “heated.” Mr. Gerald said at one point in the meeting Coach Michael Locksley, who is the head coach for the team became angry with him and approached him in an aggressive manner. Mr. Gerald said that Coach Locksley grabbed him by the collar and as other coaches were attempting to intervene, Coach Locksley punched him in the mouth causing a small cut on the inside of his upper lip.
Mr. Gerald said he did not wish to file any criminal charges against Coach Locksley at this time however he did want the incident documented in a police report.
The arresting officer also noted Gerald’s cut lip, and scratches on his arm.
UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs has confirmed the altercation but no word yet on what action will be taken against Locksley, if any.
I’m in no way defending Locksley, and there’s absolutely no excuse for laying a hand on anyone in that situation. But football is a barbaric sport, and altercations of this kind, even between coaches, happen more than the public will ever know.
While Gerald had every right to file a police report if he was indeed assaulted by Locksley, I can’t say that, fair or not, his action will do much for his future major college coaching employ. Especially considering he’s not filing criminal charges. If the incident wasn’t serious enough in Gerald’s mind to press charges, he shouldn’t have contacted police.
We don’t know if this is a pattern of behavior by Locksley or an isolated incident. If isolated, I would guess most major college assistant coaches would’ve buried the hatchet with the head coach. If repeated, it’s a different story.
This is the second high profile incident this football season involving a head coach allegedly punching an assistant coach. Raiders Coach Tom Cable was similarly accused, with that police investigation of the incident ongoing.