Posted at: 08/03/2012 7:09 PM
| Updated at: 08/06/2012 12:19 PM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Eyewitness Sports 4
The Albuquerque Journal is changing their beat writer for Lobo basketball. Mark Smith is out, Geoff Grammer from the Santa Fe New Mexican is rumored to be in. Smith spent the past decade and a half covering Lobo basketball.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the newspaper is "reorganizing the sports department". But it's no secret Smith and UNM head coach Steve Alford didn't always see eye-to-eye. In an April 14th article in the Journal, Smith wrote that Alford sent him a text message reading "Don't expect another answer from me ever." Alford was upset about an article Smith wrote questioning the accuracy of an academic award Alford's son Kory received at an end of the year banquet. UNM admitted to an administrative error in the naming of the award.
During a later interview with Mark Chavez of the LoboLair.com, Alford criticized Smith's coverage of the team. "I think it's in the best interest of moving forward and for our program to be seen nationally as well as the state of New Mexico that the relationship (with Mark Smith) does not take place," said Alford. "It's difficult for me to do interviews when the truth isn't told. The last thing I'm going to do is apologize because my son is a good student. I can't believe this is a two page article."
After announcing his departure as Lobo beat writer, Smith told us, "We are not around to make coaches happy." Smith went on to say he never had an agenda with Alford, "We are there to do stories and cover the beat and I feel like I did that in a fair manner. I never had any animosity toward Steve Alford. Was it tough at times? Of course."
Mark Smith will be promoted to assistant sports editor at the Journal. According to the newspaper, Smith expressed interest in new challenges. Smith is married with a two-year old son.