Craig Neal was relieved of his head coaching duties following this past season.
The university will owe him $1 million as part of a buyout. That sum was nearly exactly how much money he made in his first season at the helm of the program. During the 2013-14 season, Neal made a little more than $900,000. Although, according to Daniel Libit of NMFishBowl.com, he was mistakenly paid an extra $150,000, an error the school did not notice for a year.
On Thursday, confronted with these findings, a UNM spokesperson acknowledged the bungle while declining to explain how it all came to happen.
“There was an unintentional overpayment to Craig Neal, which was repaid in full some time ago through payroll deduction,” UNM’s Steve Carr told NMFishbowl.com in an email.
You might think this kind of payroll snafu would serve as a giant wakeup call for an athletic department in need of every penny. But, sure enough, almost the exact same thing happened recently with UNM’s head baseball coach.
The sum was paid back in Neal’s second season.
This story, published last week with pay stubs, only fuels the current criticism that department faces, especially when you consider that this was not an isolated incident.
Earlier on Monday, athletic director Paul Krebs announced he would retire at the end of the month. Two state investigations are looking into public money he used on golfing trips.
In seven of the past nine years, the department has failed to reach budget.
In four seasons with the Lobos, Neal compiled a 76-52 (42-30 Mountian West) record, failing to reach the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons.