Embattled Locksley fired at New Mexico


Mike Locksley, whose three years as head football coach at New Mexico have been mostly marked by losses and off-field problems, was fired Sunday.

Athletic director Paul Krebs announced Locksley's dismissal in a statement and said associate head coach and defensive coordinator George Barlow will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.

Krebs said he will hold a news conference today to discuss the coaching change.

The Lobos are 0-4 this season. They were 2-26 under Locksley, including consecutive 1-11 seasons the past two years, and he appeared to be on the verge of being fired in December. But a buyout reportedly would have cost the university almost $1.5 million.

New Mexico lost 48-45 in overtime Saturday to Sam Houston State before an announced crowd of 16,313 at University Stadium in Albuquerque. It was the Lobos' smallest home crowd in almost 19 years.

Locksley was hired in December 2008 after four seasons as Illinois' offensive coordinator. He replaced Rocky Long, who resigned after reaching five bowl games in 11 seasons with New Mexico.

Locksley made news early in his New Mexico tenure because of a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former administrative assistant and an altercation with a former assistant coach, leading Krebs to order a 10-day suspension for Locksley.

n AGGIES TO SEC -- Texas A&M is set to join the Southeastern Conference, the league said, possibly signaling legal hurdles have been cleared for the Aggies to leave the Big 12.

The SEC announced the move will be effective in July and said Texas A&M will participate in all sports during the 2012-13 academic year. That gives the SEC 13 members and its first addition since South Carolina and Arkansas in 1992.

The Aggies' defection from the Big 12 had been held up by the possibility of legal action from Baylor and other members. The statement released by the SEC did not mention that situation, and spokesman Charles Bloom said he could not comment.

A Big 12 administrator said neither the SEC nor Texas A&M has asked any of the Big 12 schools to waive their right to sue. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

n BOISE STATE -- While the fourth-ranked Broncos rolled through their first month of the season, they head toward October with several potentially concerning injuries.

Star quarterback Kellen Moore is seemingly the most noticeable. He wore a bulky black knee brace that was hard to miss during the Broncos' 41-21 win over Tulsa on Saturday.

Moore seemed unfazed, throwing for four touchdowns in less than 2½ quarters. Yet anytime he had to scramble from the pocket -- which was rare -- his gait was off. He jogged back to the huddle with a slight limp.

Moore acknowledged he was a bit "banged up" after the Broncos (3-0) beat Toledo a week earlier and that part of the reason he might have departed after throwing a 10-yard TD pass to Mitch Burroughs on Boise State's first drive of the second half Saturday was due to his sore knee.

Knee problems weren't limited to Moore. Center Thomas Byrd saw his string of 36 consecutive starts end when he didn't suit up. Byrd has battled chronic knee problems and missed most of spring practice to give his knees a break.

Also on the offensive line, right guard Jake Broyles injured a leg in the first half and didn't return. And defensive lineman Chase Baker suited up but didn't play with an undisclosed injury.

n MINNESOTA ---- Gophers coach Jerry Kill is headed back to the hospital to seek more treatment for the seizures that have plagued him for more than two weeks now. And it is unclear when he will be back on the sideline.

The university issued a statement Sunday saying Kill was readmitting himself for further examination after he suffered another seizure in the morning.

n POLL -- Another decisive road victory pushed Louisiana State to No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since 2007.

The Tigers bumped Oklahoma from the top spot Sunday after winning 47-21 Saturday at West Virginia. The Sooners, who had been No. 1 since the preseason, stayed unbeaten with a 38-28 home victory over Missouri.

LSU received 42 first-place votes from the 60-member media panel and 1,471 points. Oklahoma received 12 first-place votes and 1,422 points.

No. 3 Alabama received five first-place votes and No. 4 Boise State one. Oklahoma State jumped two spots to No. 5 after winning at Texas A&M.

The Tigers (4-0) haven't been No. 1 since winning the national championship in 2007. The Tigers held the top ranking for four weeks during the regular season that year.

LSU added the victory against West Virginia to wins over Oregon at Dallas Cowboys Stadium and at Mississippi State. All three were ranked at the time the Tigers played them.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, Oklahoma is still No. 1, with LSU and Alabama tied for second.

 

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