The State of State

The school year is over with only baseball still competing (I believe). So what is the State of (NM) State?

OVERVIEW: The best news this year may have been the legislative triumphs for athletics. The money for Pan Am is a godsend, and it has restored my faith in the NMSU adminstration for making this a priority. This, coupled with the recent big private donations, sends a great message to everyone that NMSU is serious about its commitment to intercollegiate athletics. This is also very important for possible future conference affiliation. The Sun Belt has some good things going for it, but it's not where NMSU wants to be in the future. IF NMSU is serious about moving to a better conference, it has to demonstrate that commitment to quality facilities and adequate funding in all sports, especially in football.

FOOTBALL: 7 wins, Rio Grande Champs (wins over NMSU & UTEP), but one win short of the league championship and a bowl game. Prognosis: Thumbs Up, but there's mounting pressure in Las Cruces for Tony Samuel to win a title. However you look at it, Aggie Football is competitive and exciting.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Despite 20 wins, a sweep of the Lobos and Miners, and wins over Colorado and W. Ky., most fans will consider this past year disappointing. There was something lacking in this year's team---perhaps caused by internal strife---but they just didn't seem to play with the passion needed to be a championship-caliber team. NMSU has some quality players who will suit up next year for what could be Lou Henson's swan song. There's no doubt that Lou helped pick up the pieces after the McCarthy debacle and that he righted a listing ship. Prognosis: Thumbs Up, however changes are on the horizen and the AD and Prez will have a very important decision to make.

BASEBALL: Looks like the Aggies got something going here. The Wards are building a solid program, but they will have their work cut out for them to keep it going. The AD is a big supporter of baseball, so NMSU will continue to put an emphasis in this sport. Prognosis: Thumbs Up.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: This program has been struggling since Anita Maxwell graduated. It looked like they were going to bust out, but the coaching issues exploded this season. They got a new coach with solid creditials, but they've got a long ways to go. Prognosis: Jury is still out.

OTHER SPORTS: VOLLEYBALL: Michael Jordan is a quality coach and has built a solid program here. Prognosis: Thumbs Up.

SOFTBALL: The current coach hasn't done much since being hired here. This past season was a disaster. Prognosis: Thumbs Down.

WOMEN'S GOLF: Another league championship in a weak league. It's getting tougher, but NMSU has a great women's golf tradition. Thumbs Up.

MEN'S GOLF: Continue to struggle. Thumbs Down.

TRACK/XCOUNTRY: Coach Ed Crawford has done wonders with this program. Thumbs Up.

SWIMMING/DIVING: This is a program that is not funded at the highest levels and not much is expected. Given all this, Coach McFarland does a fine job. Thumbs Up.

MENS/WOMENS TENNIS: Don Ball does a solid job. Thumbs Up.

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