By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
That’s the message on the top of the University of New Mexico’s GoLobos website.
It hasn’t been the message from the Lobo basketball team in 2020.
Early Friday morning, Lobo men’s assistant coach Brandon Mason was arrested for aggravated DWI, as off-the-court issues continue to plague the program.
Mason, 39, is entering his fourth season on head coach Paul Weir’s staff.
On Friday, the school released the following statement:
“Early this morning, The University of New Mexico Athletic Department became aware that assistant men’s basketball coach Brandon Mason was arrested for aggravated DWI. At this time, Coach Mason is suspended from all coaching duties until further notice. When the timing is appropriate, the department will provide an update on the situation.”
A criminal complaint said Mason – a former star basketball player at New Mexico State – was pulled over near Paseo del Norte and Louisiana just after midnight.
A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy reported seeing Mason leave a business without stopping, then failing to maintain his lane.
The deputy reported observing “signs of impairment” after pulling Mason over.
The deputy reported that Mason performed poorly on field sobriety tests. Mason said it was “impossible” for him to stand in the position the officer requested, because of back surgery he had a year ago.
Mason refused to take a breathalyzer, according to the report, and was arrested for aggravated DWI.
The Lobos had multiple off-the-court black eyes during a dysfunctional 2019-20 season, in which they lost 11 of their final 15 games to finish 19-14.
Senior Carlton Bragg was suspended for three games in December for alleged sexual assault. After rejoining the team for just one game, he was kicked off for good after being arrested for aggravated DWI in January.
J.J. Caldwell (alleged battery) was also suspended in December, and later kicked off the team.
Senior JaQuan Lyle was suspended for two games after throwing a late-night party in a house he rented, in which two people were shot and the residence was trashed. Lobo teammates were at the party.
Two weeks ago, incoming freshman JB White, a star from Santa Fe High School, was shot to death at 3:30 a.m., during a house party in Tesuque.
Multiple witnesses said White was fighting with the alleged shooter at the time he was gunned down.
Earlier this week, senior starting guard Zane Martin announced he was transferring out of the program.
In April, starter Vance Jackson transferred from UNM to Arkansas for his senior season.
Jackson, Martin, Bragg, Lyle and Caldwell all came to UNM as transfers.
Mark Smith has worked in New Mexico sports media for more than four decades, and is one of the most decorated sports journalists in state history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio and has been honored nationally for investigative reporting. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.