ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The annual men’s Lobo-Aggie basketball games are in jeopardy this upcoming season. Security concerns in the wake of a brawl and a deadly shooting connected to the rivalry could put those two games on ice for a second year.
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University of New Mexico students hearing the news of the rivalry may be off for another year after decades of seeing the Lobos and Aggies visiting each other every year said they’re disappointed. “It’s sad, to be honest. I think it’s sad it came to that, it got to that,” said UNM Student, Ethan Schulenburg-Calvart. UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nunez said he’s been trying to get an understanding of New Mexico State University’s safety plans for Lobo players, staff, and fans for an away game in Las Cruces, but hasn’t been provided any direction on NMSU’s plans for the Pan American Center. Until they’re assured of a plan, the Lobos will not schedule a game there.
Nunez says he’s invited NMSU to play at The Pit but was told, “that was not an option.” UNM students KRQE spoke to on Wednesday say without those precautions they may feel uneasy making the trek to Las Cruces. “I would be cautious about it. I think everyone would be. especially saying the wrong things around there. With what happened last time, I’m not sure. I’m not sure about that,” added Schulenburg-Calvart.
The turmoil began in October in Las Cruces when a brawl broke out in the stands at the Lobo-Aggie football game, involving Aggie basketball players. Investigators believe that feud led to the deadly shooting on UNM’s campus in November involving an Aggie basketball player and prompted the schools to cancel both of the rivalry games last season.
NMSU says they have assured UNM their safety plans meet industry standards for college basketball games. The rivalry football game is still on. NMSU is scheduled to play at UNM on September 16.