New Mexico State might retire Pistol Pete

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Pistol Pete, the gun-toting mascot for
New Mexico State University, may have a battle on his hands to keep
his job.

Talks are under way about whether the time has come to retire
the mascot, who has donned his huge cowboy hat at Aggie games and
other events for 40 years.

NMSU President Michael Martin said no one has yet decided that
Pete needs to go, but it's at least time for a makeover.

The current Pete costume is decades-old and scares children,
Martin said.

No one knows who or what would replace Pete as the university's

Discussions about Pistol Pete's future are part of a $220,000
marketing plan to remake the university's image for a national

Officials have already unveiled a new logo, which has the words
"NM State University" printed in white on top of a
crimson-colored background in the shape of the state.

It will replace the logo used by athletics, which uses black
letters printed in a different style, and the academic logo of
three triangles.

While the new logo is a done deal, some NMSU graduates want to
keep Pistol Pete.

Dave Wilson, a 1981 graduate and the owner of a local marketing
firm that does work for NMSU, said he's fond of Pistol Pete.

"He's an icon. He's part of the heritage," Wilson said. "I
don't mind an update on the guy, but, golly, he's Pistol Pete."

The athletics department is charged with proposing a Pete
makeover and a national firm advising the university on the
marketing changes will soon make a recommendation on whether to
remake or retire Pete, Martin said.