Amid investigation, New Mexico AD Paul Krebs announces retirement

Two weeks after it was revealed that New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs used nearly $65,000 in public funds for a golf trip to Scotland, Krebs is stepping down from his post.

On Friday morning, the university announced that Krebs, who has been at the school for 11 years, will retire effective June 30.

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“I am proud of my 11 years of service to the University of New Mexico and our accomplishments as a Department,” Krebs said. “I have had the privilege of working with great coaches and staff during my tenure. Even more important, I am proud of our student-athletes, their character, and how they have represented the University on the playing field and in the community.”

Added interim UNM president Chaouki Abdallah: “I thank Paul Krebs for his outstanding leadership of UNM athletics. His tenure will go down as the most productive and successful in school history. Paul has tried to retire several times over the last year, and now I finally have reluctantly agreed to accept his retirement. Paul and Marjori have been very active in serving the University community, our city and our state. I wish Paul the best in his retirement.”

The Albuquerque Journal is reporting that “the decision for Krebs to retire was made before” KRQE reported that Krebs spent $64,949 for a supposed week-long fundraising trip to Scotland for himself, employees and university boosters. It is “unclear” what role, if any, the uproar from the trip (which included rounds of golf at five courses) played in Krebs’ retirement, the Journal reported Friday.

(Photo by Aaron Sweet/Getty Images)

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Last week, the New Mexico attorney general’s office announced it would open an investigation into the Scotland trip and whether Krebs broke any laws by spending public money to pay for boosters to tag along on the trip. The state’s Constitution includes an anti-donation clause. Krebs has admitted that around $25,000 of the funds for the trip paid for three boosters. The state has also called for a special audit into the athletic department and the Lobo Club, which raises funds for university athletics.

From the Journal:

Initially, Krebs said UNM spent about $39,000 for his trip, the golfing package of former men’s basketball coach Craig Neal and of Lobo Club executive director Kole McKamey and $13,625 in penalties for not having the contractually agreed upon number of golfers (24).

That was the extent of the spending of UNM money, Krebs told the Journal in late April. And an April 13 Inspection of Public Records Act request from the Journal seeking documentation of all spending by UNM for the trip netted heavily redacted records that failed to reveal any spending on the private boosters.

Last week, Krebs admitted UNM also footed the bill to pay for three boosters. He said it was a mistake he overlooked initially, and that a donation of $25,000 to the UNM Foundation had recently been made to reimburse the school for the boosters’ portion of the trip.

Though New Mexico athletics performed well on (57 Mountain West titles across all sports) and off the field (program highs for Academic Progress Rate) under Krebs’ watch, the department isn’t exactly thriving fiscally. Per the Journal, the athletic department has posted deficits in seven of the last nine fiscal years and “owes the main campus an estimated $4.4 million.”

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