September 25, 2011
The brief but sordid head coaching career of New Mexico's Mike Locksley took another wayward turn this weekend, when a 19-year-old was pulled over for a DWI while driving Locksley's car.
Joshua Butts, who told police he was a New Mexico football recruit heading to the stadium, was pulled over in a dark blue SUV registered to Locksley and his wife. Butts alcohol level was 0.16 and he was charged with aggravated DWI, minor in possession of alcohol, reckless driving and driving without a license.
According to a news report from KOB.com in Albuquerque, Butts was pulled over after he nearly hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Butts showed signs of impairment and stumbled when he got out of the vehicle.
According to the police report, he told police he was brought from Chicago to play football and that he was on his way to the game in, "coaches' car."
Three other minors were in the SUV at the time and all showed signs of impairment.
At best, it's a misunderstanding. Though the police report lists the car as Locksley's, according to a statement released by New Mexico early Sunday morning, the car is actually registered to Locksley's son, Meiko, a walk-on defensive back at UNM and former high school teammate of Butts' in Champaign, Ill., where Mike Locksley was Illinois' offensive coordinator prior to landing the New Mexico job in December 2008. Butts was a minor Division I prospect last year, but did not sign with any school.
At worst, Locksley gave Butts his car, and the young man proceeded to get drunk with some of his friends prior to arriving at the game.
This is the third major off-field incident involving Locksley during his short time with the Lobos. During his first season, he was cited for sexual harassment by a former secretary and allegedly assaulted a former assistant coach. It doesn't help that Locksley's teams are 2-26 during his three seasons, including Saturday's overtime loss to Sam Houston State.
New Mexico faithful have been clamoring for Locksley's exit almost from the beginning, but the New Mexico administration has tried to give him a chance to get the program and himself on the right path. However, after last season, the school renegotiated his buyout to make it more manageable for the university in case he had another poor season. If the allegations turn out to be true and Locksley did provide a recruit his vehicle, the school could fire him for cause and not pay a buyout.
Of course, it's premature to comment on Locksley's coaching demise before knowing all the facts. And honestly, if two off-field incidents and a 2-22 record didn't get him fired the first two seasons, who knows if New Mexico will do anything after this latest event.