ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the Lobo basketball team struggles for a third year in a row, the calls are building to oust Craig Neal. That would mean a big buyout, a pattern in New Mexico that a state lawmaker wants to stop.
The lawmaker says the Bob Frank fiasco left him frustrated, as the University of New Mexico had to cut the president a deal just to get rid of him.
So Republican Representative Bill Rehm will introduce a bill in January to limit buyouts for coaches and university presidents to four weeks’ pay.
“What’s really frustrating is that every year we find not only the universities, but the school districts coming to us demanding more money, and they can always find money to go ahead and do these golden parachutes,” said Rep. Rehm.
Buyouts, though, are an industry standard in those professions. And as UNM Regents have told KRQE News 13 in the past, the argument is if a school doesn’t offer buyouts, it will have a tough time landing the best talent.
Neal’s buyout is a million dollars.
The bill would also bar schools from extending contracts until they’re almost up, saying they’re just making the buyouts more expensive by adding years before they have to.
Rehm has tried to pass laws like this before and failed.