The fact the University of New Mexico is playing hardball when it comes to buyout terms regarding former men's basketball coach Steve Alford should give taxpayers and fans of a strong offense something to cheer about.
Because this isn't about payback for Alford hurting Lobos' feelings by deciding to coach at UCLA instead of in the Pit. It's about switching New Mexico's game plan and protecting public and donor money.
Last week UNM informed Alford that he owes the university $1 million, a provision in the "term sheet" he signed March 18 that said if he quit to coach somewhere else before April 1, 2015, he or his new employer would be on the hook for seven figures.
That shows better stewardship of UNM funds than the $750,000 thrown at ex-football coach Mike Locksley, the $713,000 handed to ex-President Louis Caldera, the $677,500 passed to ex-football coach Rocky Long, the $600,000 bounced to ex-basketball coach Ritchie McKay and the $305,300 to ex-basketball coach Fran Fraschilla.
New Mexico State University, Highlands University and Albuquerque Public Schools should all take note; each public institution has also shelled out six figures to make someone go away.
Enforcing the financial terms regarding Alford's departure should not be put down to fair-weather fandom. It's simply reviewing the tape and making adjustments. It's business.
And right or wrong, that's what college athletics is, and it's good to have officials who will make a call in the public's favor.
— Albuquerque Journal