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Mayor Keller Sends Letter to Regents Ahead of Meeting on UNM Sports Programs

Urges Regents to allow State Legislature to act on funding before cutting programs for students

August 16, 2018

At a press conference today, Mayor Tim Keller urged the UNM regents to allow the New Mexico Legislature to act on funding before programs for students are cut. Mayor Keller stood alongside other local leaders including New Mexico Rep. Javier Martinez, City Council President Ken Sanchez, Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, and USL New Mexico Head Coach Troy Lesesne to outline the importance of soccer to Albuquerque. 

“With any complex decision, it’s important to consider not just the choice at hand, but when the opinion should be made, and who the ultimate decider should be,” Mayor Tim Keller wrote in a letter to the Regents. “It is my hope that above all your urgent challenges, you can simply defer a final decision and give our state’s leadership to come up with better options.”

Mayor Tim Keller first expressed his concerns for the end of the program when it was revealed that Lobo Men’s soccer was on the short list to be cut. Since then, the UNM regents voted to cut Lobo Men’s Soccer and three other sports, but will have an opportunity to reconsider their decision at a meeting on Friday.

In addition, the UNM Men’s Soccer team is the cornerstone of building Albuquerque as a complete soccer community. The City has already invested to create a pipeline to success through soccer programs by increasing funding for middle school soccer programs and hosting a new professional soccer team at Albuquerque Isotopes Park. Building successful soccer programs from the youth on to college and professional levels will benefit the City’s economy, while helping kids across all incomes, genders and ethnicities. 

Mayor Tim Keller’s full letter to the regents on deferring cuts to UNM sports is available here.