You can find a golf trip to Scotland on any golfer’s bucket list, but that doesn’t mean you should spend public funds to get there, especially if you have the ability to do so. As it turns out, that’s exactly what University of New Mexico’s Athletic Director Paul Krebs did back in 2015 when he got a group of co-workers and local businessmen together for a trip across the pond to the home of golf. The cost: $65,000! Now, he’s coming clean.
University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs has been keeping a secret under wraps for two years and it involves that ill-fated golf trip to Scotland.
Organized by an Indiana travel agency it was a dream vacation with a hefty $8,189 per person price tag: The pitch? Tour with Lobo celebrities Paul Krebs and Craig Neal for a week long golfing holiday in Scotland. Stay at the finest hotels and play golf on some of the most famous golf courses in the world. Twenty-three participants signed up for the June 2015 Scotland holiday. But not everyone paid their own way. For some, it was a free vacation at public expense.
Paul Krebs justified the expenditure as a working business trip. He said executives tagged along with potential donors to drum up financial support for the school’s athletic programs.
“The trip was a working trip and it was designed to immerse us with these donors. It was an intensive experience and I understand why people may question it,” Krebs said earlier this month.
KRQE: New Mexico athletic director used nearly $65K in public funds for golf trip to Scotland https://t.co/VTteGXSfn8
— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis_CG) May 24, 2017
Athletic Department documents obtained show someone disguised the trip by recording it as a basketball tournament in Ireland. Earlier this month Krebs confirmed the Scotland golf trip cost UNM $39,382.
“VP Krebs came to me and told me that he wanted to tell me something that he had forgotten or did not tell me before,” UNM President Abdallah said. “I was not happy.”
Paul Krebs told President Abdallah it wasn’t just Athletic Department bigwigs who got a free vacation to Scotland. Krebs now admits, UNM quietly picked up the tab for a select group of local businessmen to go on the trip. He admits using $24,000 in university funds to give private individuals a free golfing holiday. The Athletic Director says UNM paid for their trip because they were potential donors to the athletic program.
Add it all up, and the public ended up shelling out $64,949 for a golfing holiday in Scotland.
The money that was inappropriately spent on golf trips for private individuals was paid back late last week. The UNM President’s office said the money was received from an “anonymous donor”.
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