New Mexico coach Bob Davie appealing his suspension

The University of New Mexico suspended Bob Davie on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, for 30 days without pay, following multiple investigations that examined whether he and coaching staff interfered with criminal investigations or misconduct cases involving players. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

New Mexico coach Bob Davie has filed an appeal to the 30-day suspension levied upon him by the university on Thursday.

Davie’s suspension was announced Thursday after two investigative reports that looked into his conduct — one from the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and another by an outside law firm — were released.

Davie and the football program were being investigated for the handling of three allegations of criminal activity within the program. One of the allegations centered on an alleged rape said to be committed by a UNM football player. A witness said Davie “held an all team meeting in which he told the players to ‘get some dirt on this whore’ resulting in players looking for and finding [redacted] video and in the players and their girlfriends harassing [accuser] until she left the University and moved from New Mexico.”

Charges in the case were dropped because the alleged victim withdrew from school and left the state.

In a statement announcing his appeal, Davie, the Lobos coach since 2012, denied that accusation specifically.

“Over the past nine months the University has conducted three investigations involving the football program dating back to 2012. None of these investigations determined that I had violated any University police. I have appealed the suspension imposed by interim President Adballah to the Board of Regents.

“I fully cooperated in every respect and met multiple times with the investigators, but was never asked to meet with or provide information to (Hogan, the outside law firm). In fact, the Hogan Report reads ‘Given the lack of specific evidence that he or his staff engaged in criminal obstruction or retaliation with respect to these three incidences, we also determined that it was not necessary to interview Coach Davie or conduct a further review of additional police, OEO and medical records.’

“While I do not think it is appropriate to discuss specifics of the investigation at this time, I will respond to one several troubling allegations. Apparently some unnamed person has claimed that during a team meeting I told the players to ‘get some dirt on this [victim]’. None of the investigators told me about this claim or asked me if I ever made this remark. So there is no misunderstanding, never did I make that or any similar comment.”

Following its own investigation, which yielded Davie’s suspension, the university concluded it must have stronger leadership.

“Leadership must take stronger action to ensure that the university does not and will not – in any aspect of the university’s program, including athletics – tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical abuse or other prohibited misconduct against its students,” the report said. “Leadership must ensure that all students, including football players and other athletes, are subjected to the same expectations and standard as to their conduct.”

The outside investigation, conducted by Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, recommended further investigation into alleged “interference with and improper involvement by the football program into police and/or university investigations of sexual and physical assault by football players.”

The firm did not interview Davie, who must also participate in “specific in-person training and acknowledgement of his obligation to comply with university policies.”

The New Mexico athletic department will also implement mandatory Title IX and cultural sensitivity training to its employees.

“Both (investigations) identified blind-spots as well as instances where UNM policies have been violated and outdated practices persist regarding University reporting processes. Although UNM has clear policies, procedures and options for reporting misconduct and has made important progress in simplifying these options, gaps still exist. We will close the gaps and will not accept confusion or ignorance of policies as an excuse. Behavior that violates our policies will not be tolerated. We will intensify our efforts to educate our campus community and change the culture of accountability within the University,” said interim UNM president Chaouki Abdallah.

“UNM will quickly implement changes and corrective action, and will provide comprehensive training to all areas of the University. I am committed to providing a safe campus, with fair processes for all, and look forward to ensuring that our policies and procedures are enforced and adhered to, and our culture supports all Lobos and the greater campus community.”

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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