KRQE published a report Tuesday exposing New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs and a group of New Mexico executives for spending $64,949 of public funds to pay for a 2015 golfing trip to Scotland, complete with luxury hotel arrangements and reservations to play at high-end golf courses like St. Andrews.
The trip was initially reported on by KRQE in a May 2 post, which detailed the way in which Krebs used school funds to pay an Indiana travel agency for accommodations for himself, ex-men’s basketball head coach Craig Neal, and Lobo Club executive Kole McKamey. Krebs also used the school’s funds to pay for a penalty the school incurred for not booking the required number of people for the trip. (It’s worth noting that the same year the golfing trip took place, Krebs signed a four-year contract with the school worth over $300,000 in base salary, with $70,000 more in potential performance bonuses.)
The expenses for the trip were covered up by athletic department administrators, being logged in the university system as a basketball tournament, per KRQE. When the Scotland trip was discovered through a public records request, the news station was led to believe that only Krebs and two other New Mexico employees had dipped into the public funds for the personal vacation.
This is because, according to KRQE, Krebs told them outright in early May that the school had spent $39,382 to pay for him, Neal, and McKamey, as well as the penalty. The university reportedly paid $8,189 for Neal, $9,379 for Krebs, and $8,189 for McKamey.
In fact, Krebs lied, both to KRQE and his own university president, when he led the two parties to believe he and his fellow athletic department employees were the only ones for whom the school footed the bill—KRQE reported on Tuesday that Krebs carved out over $24,000 more than the initial total in order to pay for the travel packages of private citizens Darin Davis, Raleigh Gardenhire and Paul Gibson. All three are local businessmen; none of them reimbursed the school for the trip.
When confronted with the information earlier this month, Krebs insisted that the trip was business-related, as he was hoping to secure donations from potential donors joining him in Scotland. An anonymous donor has since paid back their portion of the trip, per KQRE.
Interim New Mexico president Chaouki Abdallah condemned Krebs’s actions in an interview with KQRE; luckily for Krebs—who at this point would appear to know where literal bodies are buried—the good, ol’ boys club at New Mexico will stay intact, as Abdallah appears to have already moved on from the fact that his athletic director spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a golfing trip and then attempted to cover it up multiple times.
Abdallah told the news channel he was “not happy,” but then went on to call Krebs an “honorable man,” adding that “even honorable men sometimes make a mistake.”