Lobos Fought The Law... The Law Won

The University of New Mexico appealed the original ruling of the NCAA infractions committee...

The University of New Mexico football program found out late last year they would lose five scholarships in each of the next three seasons due to NCAA violations.
Thursday, the NCAA infractions appeals committee ruled in favor the original NCAA ruling. Overall, UNM's scholarship offers are cut from 25 to 20 each year for three years.

New Mexico's total number of scholarships was also reduced, from the maximum allowable 85 to 80, each year through the 2011 season. The investigation found that two of former Coach Rocky Long's assistants in 2004-2005 helped three recruits obtain phony credits to help them with their eligibilty.

Does the buck stop here?

Long was not accused of any wrong doing , but it was his program at the time and if his assistants are cheating, then so is he. We all have mixed feelings about Rocky's departure but with this final blow to the program, I'm glad he's gone.

Long won't be around to suffer the consequences and it's new coach Mike Locksley's problem now.Which he is more than capable of dealing with.

Coach Locksley assumed the appeal would be denied and recruited just 20 players this year, not the 25 he could have. So for the next three seasons, Locksley and the Lobos will be five scholarship athletes short. Though they do get one scholarship back in 2011. This is a pretty severe penalty for the Lobos, as other teams with these types of violations have, in most cases, been penalized one or two scholarships. The NCAA is taking a strong stand against recruting violations and unfortunately for the Lobos, they're one of the first to face the new, tougher policy.

It may seem like an excessive penalty -- which is what UNM argued in the appeal -- but the fairness of it is moot now. The only thing the Lobos can do now is adjust. And with the new coaching staff in place, it shouldn't be a program killer.

Mike Locksley steps into a scholarship mess...

The bottom line is the former staff cheated, got caught and now have to suffer the consequences, whether fair or not. But with Locksley being the great recruiter he is, I'm confident he'll find a way to work some magic and get some productive walk-ons.

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photos courtesy The Daily Lobo

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