LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Two days after video surfaced of New Mexico State starting quarterback Diego Pavia appearing to urinate on the Lobos logo at the University of New Mexico’s indoor practice facility, NMSU responded to questions about the alleged incident on Tuesday.
NMSU football assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Tim Beck stood in for second-year head coach Jerry Kill at the Aggies’ weekly football press conference on Tuesday and said the program was disappointed by Pavia’s actions.
“We’re disappointed in what happened. That’s one of those things where we’ll deal with him and deal with it internally and move on,” Beck said. “You have high expectations for all your players. We’re disappointed in his actions, disappointed in what happened, but it will be handled internally and then we’ll move forward.”
Beck told the media that to his knowledge, Pavia hadn’t been punished by the university or the team as of yet. Pavia led the Aggies to a 27-17 win over the Lobos on Sept. 16 in Albuquerque and also played in NMSU’s 20-17 loss at Hawai’i last Saturday. Beck said that as far as he knew, Pavia would play in NMSU’s next game on Oct. 4 at home vs. FIU.
Sources told KTSM on Monday that there was some question as to the timing of when the video had been taken, be it around the Sept. 16 Rio Grande Rivalry game in Albuquerque, or at an earlier date. Beck said on Tuesday that it was his belief that it happened before the season.
“I was aware (of the video) some time this last week,” Beck said. “I still don’t know the exact whole story, but from my understanding this was something that happened well before the season ever started.”
The video, which was first obtained by KTSM’s NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, KOB, appears to show Pavia urinating on the Lobos logo at midfield of their indoor practice facility. Someone is filming Pavia, appearing to cheer him on by saying, “ya 10.” The number 10 is Pavia’s jersey number. It’s still unclear how Pavia gained access to the facility.
Beck told reporters on Tuesday that he wasn’t familiar with that portion of the video and didn’t know of any possible ramifications for whoever the person filming Pavia was.
University of New Mexico head coach Danny Gonzales was asked at his weekly press conference about the video, but offered a simple, “no comment,” to reporters. All UNM officials have said about the matter is that they alerted NMSU to the video’s existence last week.
“We are aware of the video and notified NMSU Athletic Administration of its existence on Monday morning,” UNM’s statement reads.
NMSU officials would not comment on the video when asked for a statement by KTSM on Sunday and Beck’s press conference has been the university’s only real public comments about the video.
“Any information regarding the potential discipline of a student would be protected under federal privacy laws,” the university said in a statement.
Pavia had also not responded to a request for comment from KTSM as of Tuesday afternoon. An Albuquerque native and graduate of Volcano Vista High School, Pavia went to New Mexico Military Institute out of high school, before signing with NMSU.
In his first taste of the Rio Grande Rivalry, Pavia led NMSU to the 27-17 win on Sept. 16, throwing a pair of touchdowns in the win. Certainly though, an incident like this overshadows what Pavia has done on the field and is a departure from what NMSU’s coaching staff expects from him and the entire roster.
“You’re trying to do everything that you can to limit distractions,” Beck said. “We’re still in the developmental stages of this program and we’re trying to do everything we can to find ways to get better every single week. Even though the win-loss record doesn’t show it, we’re a better football team than we were a year ago, so we’ve made a lot of positive strides. Anything that’s negative, something happens, is a distraction from what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to find ways to limit those as much as possible so when something like this pops up, you have to handle it and move on.”
It’s not the first time there’s been controversy surrounding the UNM-NMSU football game in the last calendar year.
A fight at the Oct. 15, 2022, football game in Las Cruces between UNM students and members of the NMSU men’s basketball team eventually led to a retaliatory event in Albuquerque on Nov. 19, 2022, in which four UNM students are seen on surveillance video assaulting former NMSU men’s basketball player Mike Peake.
Peake and 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis then exchanged gunfire, with Travis being killed and Peake injured. The three other UNM students were charged by police with multiple felonies; authorities determined that Peake acted in self-defense and neither him, nor anyone affiliated with NMSU has been charged with a crime in relation to the shooting.
UNM beefed up its security for last week’s UNM-NMSU contest in Albuquerque and at this time it does not appear that there were any issues.
Tuesday was also the second time in three weeks that NMSU head coach Jerry Kill missed his weekly press conference. Kill missed his presser, as well as multiple practices in the lead-up to the Aggies’ win over UNM on Sept. 16 with a medical issue.
Beck said on Tuesday that Kill was, “unable to be here today. He’ll be fine, he’s just unable to be here right now.”
When asked by a reporter if Kill had another medical issue, Beck said Kill was tired from NMSU’s road trip to and from Hawai’i.
“It was a long trip. We’re all exhausted from the trip and so he’s just not out here this morning, but he’ll be here as soon as he feels like he’s ready to roll,” said Beck.
NMSU will return to practice on Wednesday ahead of next week’s midweek clash on Oct. 4 vs. FIU at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
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