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Wait, so Locksley didn't throw a punch?

10/13/2009

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

The University of New Mexico sent out a statement Tuesday evening saying that coach Mike Locksley has been suspended for 10 days for allegedly assaulting wide receivers coach J.B. Gerald on Sept. 20.

Locksley also will miss the Oct. 24 game against UNLV and must take a conflict resolution class.

But what I find interesting about the statement is that New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs said none of the other “witnesses” claimed Locksley hit Gerald even though Locksley admitted to doing it.

“The results of the investigation by the UNM Department of Human Resources were consistent with information we originally obtained,” said Krebs. “No witness verified coach (J.B.) Gerald’s allegation that coach Locksley threw a punch. However, as coach Locksley has acknowledged, there was a physical incident with a fellow employee. That type of behavior will not be tolerated. The suspension is consistent with UNM policy for this situation.”

How is that possible? How did Gerald split his lip as it indicates in the police report? Locksley didn't specifically deny during his first interview about the incident on the Mountain West Conference call that he punched his assistant coach in the face. In fact, he said multiple times he took full responsibility for “the incident” and that he spoke with his players about not allowing their emotions to get the better of them. You'd think that if he didn't hit the guy, he'd say that he didn't hit him and that he pushed him or smacked him or did whatever to bust the guy's lip. It's been brought to my attention that he said it later, but he didn't say it in the initial interview. He just went with what everyone was reporting and what Gerald said in the police report.

So how, in a room full of coaches who were there for a coaches meeting, did no one see Locksley "hit" Gerald?

That seems highly implausible.