1-9 NMSU football team will receive national coverage for ineptitude
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Excellence is not the only way to receive coverage in Sports Illustrated.
The magazine is working on a piece about universities that could consider dropping down in competition or dropping football altogether because they struggle so mightily. New Mexico State University is one of them.
The 1-9 Aggies have given up more than 40 points in eight of their losses. Their only win was against Abilene Christian, a Division II school.
Even before the Aggies began their dreadful season, the question of whether they should continue playing football at the highest level was being raised by realists, on campus and off. It still must be answered by school President Garrey Carruthers and the board of regents.
NMSU has not played in a bowl game since 1960. Carruthers was a lad of 21 that year, meaning he is one of the shrinking number of alumni who remember when the Aggies were good.
In fact, the Sun Bowl in El Paso is the only bowl game to ever invite the Aggies.
They won't be in another bowl game in Carruthers' lifetime, or in that of the freshman class.
Like it or not, football at New Mexico State is a political issue.
Do the university's regents and president have the will to de-emphasize football? Dropping down a level would give the Aggies a chance to be competitive.
The easier course of action is inaction. Doing nothing would mean no complaints from prideful alumni who say the Aggies can be one of those programs that rises from ashes to glory.
But doing nothing also means that the Aggies would continue to be one of the least competitive programs in America -- the kind that receives attention in Sports Illustrated for ineptitude.