- Associated Press - Saturday, July 31, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A former assistant football coach has sued the University of New Mexico and coach Mike Locksley over an altercation between the two men last year.

J.B. Gerald filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque against Locksley and the University of New Mexico Board of Regents.

According to the lawsuit, Locksley attacked Gerald on Sept. 20 by choking him, punching him in the face, and cursing at him in front of peers and athletes, and should have to pay damages to Gerald. The suit also claims the university engaged in racial discrimination against Gerald, who is black, by failing to take appropriate action.

The lawsuit also states that “it was suggested to (Gerald) that his career would not benefit if he persisted in complaining of Locksley’s behavior.”

The lawsuit does not specify an amount, but says Gerald experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

Locksley served a 10-day suspension for his role in the altercation. He has said he grabbed Gerald’s collar but that he never threw a punch.

UNM spokeswoman Susan McKinsey said in a statement Saturday that the university had not received a copy of the lawsuit , adding that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed civil rights charges by Gerald against the university.

“The University is confident that these judicial proceedings will reach the same result, and will vigorously defend itself and its employees against these claims,” McKinsey said.

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