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New Mexico State Aggies
New Mexico State University's teams are called the Aggies, a nickname derived from the university's agricultural beginnings. The mascot is known as "Pistol Pete". NMSU's colors are crimson and white. The Aggies compete in the Western Athletic Conference in all men's and women's sports except football, in which the Aggies are a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The current athletic director is Dr. McKinley Boston, who has held the position since December 2004. The "Aggies" nickname derives from the university's agricultural roots and status as a land grant institution. Prior to 2000 the women's intercollegiate athletic teams were known as the Roadrunners, placing NMSU among the handful of NCAA Division I schools which had separate nicknames and mascots for its men's and women's programs. By the late 1990s sentiment began to grow for the university to adopt a single, uniform mascot for all its athletic teams, and during the 1999-2000 academic year the school's female student athletes voted to adopt the "Aggies" moniker. NMSU's women's teams officially became the Aggies at the start of the 2000-2001 academic year.
The current athletics logo was initially designed in 2005 as part of a controversial plan to remake the university's image on the national stage; Pete's pistol was replaced with a lasso, and his name was briefly officially abbreviated to simply "Pete". In addition to the new logo, the costumed mascot seen at games was also given a new look, losing his six shooters and holster belt in favor of a lasso. The disarming of Pete led to a massive uproar among students, alumni and outsiders demanding the return of Pete's guns. Popular t-shirts worn around campus featured the old Pistol Pete logo modified to show an oversized gun in his hand, with the slogan “Who Brings a Lasso to a Gunfight?” The decision was even criticized by Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly during his "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" segment. The most popular nickname given to the widely unpopular new mascot was "Lasso Larry".