ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KTSM) — The Battle of I-25 rivalry will not be fought between the New Mexico State and University of New Mexico men’s basketball teams in the 2022-23 season, UNM officials announced Tuesday.
News of the cancellations comes as a result of a fatal shooting at UNM over the weekend that killed 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis and hospitalized New Mexico state men’s basketball player Mike Peake with his injuries became. Peake was at The Pit in Albuquerque for the game originally scheduled for November 19 between the Aggies and Lobos.
New Mexico’s athletics director Eddie Nunez said Tuesday that the Nov. 19 game in Albuquerque will not be rescheduled and that the Dec. 3 game between the two teams in Las Cruces has also been canceled. Nunez said the choice was made out of a wealth of precautions.
New Mexico state officials had not commented on the matter as of Tuesday afternoon, but a Zoom press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu, athletic director Mario Moccia and college dean Ann Goodman
Nunez said the decision to cancel this season’s men’s basketball games was a joint decision by administrators from both schools.
“They didn’t hesitate; they got it,” Nunez said of the conversations with NMSU leaders. “They also had to look to themselves and say if we can do what is necessary in such a short time to have a game the way they have games. I don’t know if it’s at the level we would expect or hope it would be. He understood that and agreed and said those were things they would continue to work on.”
Nunez further said that the women’s basketball game between NMSU and UNM, scheduled for December 11 in Albuquerque, will go ahead as planned for the time being.
He called it the “first step” of the healing process between the two schools.
“We’re going to be checking everything we need from now until this game to make sure we have everything in place,” Nunez said. “Yes it will be the first time rivalry is played but it is an opportunity for our fans and their fans to show the country that we can come together and do it right.”
NMSU released a Q&A Monday with media questions, and when asked about the status of the battle of I-25, the school still had no response, leading to Tuesday’s UNM press conference announcing the cancellation of the men’s basketball games was given.