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The Latest: UNM regents vote again to cut sports

August 17, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on University of New Mexico regents’ consideration of athletics cuts (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

University of New Mexico regents have voted again in favor of cutting men’s soccer and three other teams in an effort to get spending under control within the school’s troubled athletics department.

The cuts also are aimed at meeting federal Title IX requirements for ensuring gender equity.

The unanimous vote came Friday after regents heard hours of public testimony that included emotional pleas to preserve men’s soccer, men’s and women’s skiing and beach volleyball.

The regents did opt to preserve the women’s diving team.

Key state lawmakers called for regents to delay their vote, saying solutions could be hashed out during the next legislative session.

But university officials voiced concerns about the lack of recurring funding to support athletics and said more uncertainty would only hurt the teams and student athletes.

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2 p.m.

The leader of an influential legislative committee is asking regents at New Mexico’s flagship university to slow down and work with state lawmakers to address financial problems and Title IX compliance before moving to cut men’s soccer and other sports.

Legislative Finance Committee Chairwoman Patty Lundstrom was the first to address the University of New Mexico regents during a special meeting Friday in Albuquerque.

She said she and others have provided university officials with other options to avoid cutting sports and meeting federal requirements for balanced participation among men and women. But Lundstrom says there has been no response from the university.

She also took issue with the transparency of the process.

Other lawmakers also spoke, mentioning the opportunities sports can provide and raising questions about past spending by the university on costly contract buyouts.

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12:15 a.m.

Regents at New Mexico’s flagship university are scheduled to consider for a second time a proposal to shore up the finances of its troubled athletics department by eliminating some sports.

Their first vote in July to cut men’s soccer and other teams at the University of New Mexico sparked public outcry and came under fire after the state attorney general and others accused the board of violating open meeting laws.

Regents will gather on campus Friday for a special meeting. Time has been set aside for public comment and the teams’ supporters are expected to fill the meeting.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller was among those rallying Thursday in hopes that regents reconsider their decision to cut soccer along with men’s and women’s skiing and beach volleyball. The school’s plan also called for significant roster reductions within other programs.

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