It is rare for a state legislature to get involved in soccer matters, but the New Mexico House of Representatives wants the University of New Mexico to reinstate men's soccer and three other sports
slated to be dropped at end of the school year.
The New Mexico House of Representatives is so serious that the amount in the state budget to appropriate to the UNM athletic department has
been increased to $4.6 million with the proviso that the funding is contingent on reinstating the four programs and doing so before state approval of the university’s operating budget.
House Bill 320 originally would have appropriated $2 million to reinstate the men’s and women’s skiing teams, beach volleyball and men’s soccer varsity programs and provide
greater oversight of athletic expenditures.
A vote by the Democrat-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives is expected this week following the passage of the state spending plan by
the House Appropriations and Finance Committee along party lines, 12-6. The $7 million state budget calls for an increase of more than 10 percent and still leaves reserves of nearly $1.6 billion in
the state’s general fund.
The increase in spending comes amid record revenues from a surge in oil production in the Permian Basin, which straddles southeastern New Mexico and West
As it stands now, the 2018 fall season that ended on Nov. 7 will be the last the New Mexico men's soccer team plays. A 4-0 loss to Old Dominion dropped the Lobos' record to 4-12-1
for their first losing season in 15 years.
It followed a decision by the University of New Mexico board of regents last summer to discontinue the four varsity programs at the end of the
2018-19 school year in an effort to stem the tide of deficits -- eight in the last 11 years -- that have plagued Lobo athletics and bring the department into compliance with Title IX.