As Coach Tony D’Amato might say, recruiting is a game of inches, and any advantage a coach can legally grab is one he’ll claw for like a crack addict who sees a stray rock behind the refrigerator. But that word - legally - regularly confounds the majority of coaches, who are usually no match for the NCAA’s draconian set of rules.
You’d think they could do better than Mike Locksley, the incoming head coach of the New Mexico Lobos. While he doesn’t appear to have violated any NCAA rules, that’s only because his violatin’ sights were (allegedly) set much, much higher. Mr. Locksley, meet Mr. Equal Opportunity Employment Lawsuit.
According to the ALBUQUERQUE BUSINESS JOURNAL ($$, free trial login available), Locksley found himself on the wrong end of a civil suit after he allegedly fired someone for not being hot enough to entice recruits:
Attorney Whitney Warner said Locksley fired her client, former Lobo football administrative assistant Sylvia Lopez, because she was not a “young gal” who could entice recruits.
The university denies she was fired, and UNM athletics director Paul Krebs predicts the university will be vindicated.
“The real focus of what seems to have happened here is that coach Locksley, because of how he’s done things at other places he’s worked, is used to having the staff in the football department be young, attractive women because they’re enticing for recruits,” Warner said. “They have a lot of interaction with recruits, and (Locksley) made a number of statements shortly after he was hired and throughout the time that Ms. Lopez was still there that he needed to get younger gals in there — younger-looking, young, fresh gals in there — because they’re good recruiting tools.
“He made a number of other comments of — how should I put it — admiring young women — I guess would be the best way (to put it) — in the work environment. So that’s really what the basis of the sex harassment (claim) is.”
What, women don’t want that? But every time I’m on the Internet, that’s like all I do, and I have a real life girlfriend and everything. (She’s so hot guys, you don’t even know, man, so serious.)
But the stick in the spokes of Lopez’s and Warner’s argument is the one brought forth by Krebs: Lopez technically wasn’t fired. Krebs maintains that Lopez submitted her own retirement, while Warner maintains that Lopez was forced out. This will probably become the primary point of contention, which makes sense; if the University were careless enough to formally fire her, this lawsuit would have already been settled.
But if the message is “you can get rid of old women if you jump through the right hoops and have the right legal budget,” that’s also a bad omen for the rest of the workforce. Granted, people who run their offices with a casual disregard for decades of experience generally don’t last very long on account of, well, having to actually depend on girls who get hired for being pretty. Have you ever been in a sorority meeting or seen footage of one? Is that the dynamic you want in your office? Because that’s probably what you’ll end up getting. Give us a grizzled old lady to keep an office in shape any day.