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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus loves the support for his team from the home fans.
But the coach doesn't like some of the language, and he warned students during a pep rally that continued use of vulgarities could result in having next season's Western Athletic Conference tournament moved out of Las Cruces.
"There's a lot of haters out there because they're used to seeing New Mexico State at the bottom," Theus said Thursday.
He told students that some athletic directors at other WAC schools have expressed concern about a chant containing a vulgarity. Aggies fans have used it for at least the past 12 years after opponents shoot free throws.
WAC senior associate commissioner Jeff Hurd, who oversees the conference tournament, said the league has a sportsmanship policy that calls for "a healthy environment for competition, free of a hostile atmosphere for opponents."
Penalties for violating the policy can vary from letters of reprimand to monetary fines against member schools.
New Mexico State has a contract to stage the WAC tournament at the Pan American Center next month and next season, but Hurd said presidents of the nine WAC schools could vote to move the event if the sportsmanship issue persists.
"The issue is the chant," Hurd said. "It truly is a violation of the sportsmanship policy and it will not be tolerated." ------ Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, www.lcsun-news.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-02-23-07 1206MST