Apparently some thieves in Utah decided they didn’t want to air the New Mexico State Aggies’ dirty laundry.
The game-worn, unwashed whites the Aggie men wore in their Feb. 19 51-38 basketball win at Utah Valley – and stolen out of the team bus the next overnight in Salt Lake City – have been recovered. Police said they found a bag containing the uniforms abandoned in a rail yard, along with another bag that held the team’s banged-up timeout stools.
NMSU was notified of the discovery Wednesday, spokesman Bill Powers said. Another stolen bag containing tripods was not recovered.
School officials and police are operating on a theory that whoever stole the bags had a change of heart once the heart paid attention to the nose. The uniforms came straight off the Aggies’ backs into the bags. The plan was to wash them when the team returned to Las Cruces.
“Dirty, athletic laundry,” Powers said, needing not to elaborate.
New Mexico State wore whites, typically a home uniform, on Feb. 19 since Utah Valley had a “blackout” promotion and chose to wear its black duds.
All the uniforms were recovered except for some warm-up tights and a clean “blood” jersey – a spare for a player who, for whatever reason, gets blood on his own jersey, which necessitates his removal from the game.
The recovery is a big deal for this reason: NMSU made contact with adidas, its apparel provider, for replacements. But given the time frame, “all they could do was get us blank, white uniforms,” Powers said.
The plan was to get screened lettering done locally in Las Cruces as a stopgap measure. The replacement uniforms, which arrived Wednesday, already have been sent back.
HOME FINALE: The Aggies’ regular-season home finale, a “Pack the Pan Am” night, is 50 tickets within a sellout. NMSU (19-10, 11-1) has clinched the regular-season title and top seed for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on March 11-14 in Las Vegas, Nev.