LARAMIE, Wyo. – As the New Mexico Lobos returned from the locker room for the second half of Wednesday night’s game against the Wyoming Cowboys, they noticed the rim on their basket was too high.
They asked game officials for a measurement, and it indeed was too high and promptly lowered. UNM says the rim was raised 3 inches; Wyoming maintains it was 1 inch.
The Mountain West Conference on Thursday declined to give any details about what was determined happened in the matter, including whether someone intentionally or maliciously raised the rim at halftime. And, if not, whether Wyoming then played the entire first half on a basket that was not at regulation height.
“The Conference office was made aware of the problem with the rim,” Kim Melcher, Mountain West assistant commissioner for communications, wrote in an email to the Journal. “We have been in communication with officials at both institutions, and consider the matter closed.”
She did not say whether any action was taken by the league.
The Journal asked in a follow-up email for clarification on whether the league had determined Wyoming played a half of basketball on a rim at the wrong height or whether it was raised at halftime.
“On the rim matter,” Melcher wrote in an email, “if something warranted public acknowledgement from the Conference office, we would have sent out a release/official statement, per our normal procedure.”
UNM athletic director Paul Krebs told the Journal he is satisfied with the league’s response and by Wyoming’s athletics department, which is adamant that the rim being the wrong height was not an intentional action.
“I wasn’t there. I only know what the league communicated to me,” Krebs said. “And as far as I’m concerned we won, and whatever the issue was, it was addressed before play was resumed and it didn’t effect the outcome. … I have no reason not to believe their explanation.”
Krebs said it was relayed to him that nobody intentionally raised the rim at halftime, but it remains unclear why the rim was not the correct height or when that occurred.