For the Lobos, the jerseys were a piece of history.
For the Aggies, the jersey were history.
Both UNM and NMSU’s men’s basketball teams put a few extra dollars in their pockets this month with special auctions of unique alternate jerseys worn in January games by the team.
The Lobos’ game-worn, yellow state flag-themed jerseys worn in the program’s historic 85-58 home blowout win over then-No. 6 Nevada on Jan. 5 were put up for an online auction Jan. 8-9 with proceeds of $5,562 going to UNM’s Lobo Scholarship Fund.
“We just saw this as an opportunity to recognize the state of New Mexico and to celebrate it,” UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez said of the thought behind the jerseys. “But we also wanted to find a way to make this beneficial to the student athletes, so we went with the auction to try and put some of the money back into programs that benefit them.”
Nuñez said he isn’t sure whether the department will wear the special Nike jerseys in the future, but challenged his department to come up with another unique jersey opportunity to try next year, if not a repeat of the yellow flag-themed ones.
The jerseys for seniors Dane Kuiper and Anthony Mathis were not auctioned off and will likely be used to honor the seniors later in the season. Carlton Bragg’s game-worn No. 35 jersey hauled in the top bid of $650.
It is unclear how much that nets after expenses for the cost of the jerseys and the auction site.
As for the Aggies, NMSU chose to wear, and auction off, throwback Under Armour jerseys inspired by Aggies programs of the past for games against UTEP and Grand Canyon University.
NMSU’s auction started Jan. 10 and runs through Friday at noon and is currently at $10,323.
NMSU told the Journal it spent $1,500 on the jerseys and about $1,000 for the auction site. Proceeds after that, athletic director Mario Moccia said, will be split between the men’s basketball team’s 6th Man Club and the department’s Aggie Athletics Club. The department is “hopeful of getting $5,000 to each entity after expenses,” Moccia added.
UNM’s auction was set up to bid on specific jerseys. NMSU’s auction setup had each bidder rank his or her jersey preference one through 15. The top 15 bids win a jersey with the top bidder getting top choice and so on.
The Journal requested on Jan. 14 from UNM both in an email to the athletics department and in a formal Inspection of Public Records Act request documentation of how much was made on its jersey auction.
UNM’s Office of the Custodian of Public Records forwarded the Journal’s request to athletics on Jan. 15 in an email with a subject line that stated it was due on Jan. 30, though state law says public records are due to be released “immediately” when available “or as soon is practicable under the circumstances, but not later than 15 days.”
Madison Baumann, Executive Director of the UNM Alumni Letterman’s Association responded to the records custodian’s request within 90 minutes with all the information requested on Jan. 15, according to an email, but UNM still did not release the documents to the Journal until Tuesday, 15 days after the Jan. 14 request.
NMSU responded to an email request for information within an hour with all requested information on their jersey auction and did not require a formal IPRA request.