Lobo pair were booted over Ti­tle IX vi­o­la­tions

Re­port: Bragg sus­pended, Cald­well ex­pelled via pol­icy

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - BY GE­OFF GRAMMER JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

The Univer­sity of New Mex­ico has ex­pelled one for­mer Lobo men’s bas­ket­ball player and sus­pended the other af­ter de­ter­min­ing through an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the univer­sity’s Ti­tle IX Of­fice that both vi­o­lated the univer­sity’s “sex­ual mis­con­duct” ad­min­is­tra­tive pol­icy.

Nei­ther Carl­ton Bragg, who grad­u­ated from UNM in the spring and is now in Poland play­ing pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball, nor Joseph “J.J.” Cald­well, who is back in his home state of Texas, were still en­rolled at UNM or even in the state when the de­ci­sions were is­sued by the univer­sity’s Dean of Stu­dents (in early June for Bragg, Sept. 3 for Cald­well).

Nei­ther has been charged with a crime re­lated to the un­re­lated al­le­ga­tions, nei­ther in­volv­ing a UNM stu­dent, and both off cam­pus.

Jour­nal re­quests for records of the ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions were ini­tially de­nied, then later re­leased, though heav­ily redacted.

Each al­le­ga­tion re­mains un­der re­view by 12th Ju­di­cial Dis­trict At­tor­ney John Sugg, the Alam­ogordo-based prose­cu­tor who has been re­view­ing the cases since Jan­uary af­ter it was con­flicted out of the of­fice of Ber­nalillo County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Raul Tor­rez, the hus­band of UNM Dean of Stu­dents Nasha Tor­rez. APD did not find cause to charge ei­ther player ini­tially. Sugg has told the Jour­nal the re­sults of the re­view are likely this month.

Each player was sus­pended from the Lobo bas­ket­ball team prior to the Dec. 22, 2019, game against Hous­ton Bap­tist, though the univer­sity did not say why. The Jour­nal later ob­tained Al­bu­querque Po­lice Depart­ment re­ports for both mat­ters.

On Nov. 5, 2019, a 20-year-old woman told APD that on Aug. 10, 2019, af­ter a night of drink­ing with friends that in­cluded Bragg and his girl­friend, that the 6-foot10 Bragg tried to have sex with her in her apart­ment, re­peat­edly kiss­ing her and try­ing to un­but­ton her pants, though she recorded au­dio

that could hear her telling him to stop. The two did not have sex, the re­port stated.

APD did not ar­rest Bragg af­ter the re­port was filed and UNM was not no­ti­fied im­me­di­ately. Af­ter serv­ing a three-game sus­pen­sion, UNM cleared him to re­turn to the team. He later was ar­rested on a drunken driv­ing charge and dis­missed from team for that.

In his sanc­tion let­ter from the Of­fice of the Dean of Stu­dents, Bragg was in­formed he vi­o­lated UNM’s Ad­min­is­tra­tive Pol­icy 2720 (“Pro­hib­ited dis­crim­i­na­tion”) and 2740 (“Sex­ual mis­con­duct”) and ruled his pun­ish­ment be “de­ferred sus­pen­sion, per­ma­nent con­duct pro­ba­tion with con­di­tions, and ban­ning from cam­pus.”

Should he want to re­turn to cam­pus for any rea­son or take part in any UNM bas­ket­ball event, he would have to prove he has sought coun­sel­ing and turn in to a Stu­dent Con­duct Of­fi­cer a “15-page re­search and re­flec­tion pa­per.”

The Jour­nal tried sev­eral times to speak with Bragg’s at­tor­ney, Ian King.

Cald­well, who never was al­lowed back on the team fol­low­ing his De­cem­ber sus­pen­sion, has a civil law­suit on­go­ing against UNM, Nasha Tor­rez and ath­letic di­rec­tor Ed­die Nuñez al­leg­ing vi­o­la­tion of his due process, among other things. He was ac­cused in De­cem­ber by an ex-girl­friend of at least two past phys­i­cal as­saults, one be­fore the sea­son started. The fe­male, who ini­tially spoke with the Jour­nal, then later through an at­tor­ney, re­vealed her par­ents had con­tacted UNM in July 2019 and told the ath­letic depart­ment of an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship be­tween Cald­well and their daugh­ter.

The fe­male also re­ported to po­lice that July in­ci­dent on Dec. 3. Two weeks later, she filed an­other re­port say­ing she and Cald­well got in a fight see­ing each other at a bar, go­ing back to his apart­ment and then get­ting into an al­ter­ca­tion there.

Cald­well was told in a Sept. 3 let­ter from UNM’s Dean of Stu­dents that he has been ex­pelled. One of his at­tor­neys, Jus­tine FoxYoung, con­firmed Cald­well par­tic­i­pated in UNM’s Ti­tle IX ad­min­is­tra­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but de­clined fur­ther com­ment.

The heav­ily redacted sanc­tion let­ter from dated Sept. 3 states he vi­o­lated the univer­sity’s pol­icy on sex­ual mis­con­duct — “specif­i­cally for in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence.” The let­ter goes on to state he is ex­pelled, loses his sta­tus as a stu­dent for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod of time and is barred from cam­pus.

Through Fox-Young and co-coun­sel Paul Kennedy, Cald­well’s civil law­suit states his con­sti­tu­tional rights were vi­o­lated for “un­sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tions” and that UNM hasn’t fol­lowed its own process to de­ter­mine whether a stu­dent Code of Con­duct vi­o­la­tion has oc­curred.

ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOUR­NAL

UNM’s Carl­ton Bragg (left), Mon­tana’s Jared Sa­muel­son and Mack An­der­son, and Lobo J.J. Cald­well bat­tle for a loose ball at the Pit last De­cem­ber. Bragg and Cald­well were sus­pended later in the month.

J.J. Cald­well

Carl­ton Bragg

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