New Mexico State coach Jerry Kill criticized New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nunez after Saturday’s Isleta New Mexico Bowl, saying Nunez attempted to deny the Aggies access to practice facilities in retaliation for an incident earlier this year.

Kill, whose team lost to Fresno State 37-10 at New Mexico’s University Stadium in Albuquerque, ended his news conference by saying New Mexico State had a great bowl experience but faced “all kinds of stuff” with its attempts to practice at New Mexico, where the event has been played since 2006.

Nunez told ESPN on Sunday that New Mexico permitted the use of its facilities to both teams, just as it has done annually for the bowl game. He said New Mexico “would never stand in the way” of a participating team’s preparation.

On Saturday night, Kill told ESPN that New Mexico State would have had to practice at a local high school field if New Mexico Bowl executive director Jeff Siembieda had not intervened and pushed for the use of New Mexico’s facility. When New Mexico State showed up Thursday, as snow fell in the Albuquerque area, four police officers were at the New Mexico facility to monitor the Aggies’ practice.

“The police officers kind of laughed. They said, ‘There’s a lot of stuff going on in Albuquerque; I don’t know why we’re here watching the logo,'” Kill said. “It’s a great bowl game, but here’s the deal: They were going to make us practice on a high school field and let Fresno practice in the indoor, and that particular day, it snowed. But Jeff busted his butt and had to argue with their people to get us on the thing.”

Kill said no police were present when New Mexico State practiced in the facility Friday.

He said Nunez had “better be disciplined by this state” for how he allegedly treated the Aggies. Kill also referenced an incident involving New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia, who appeared in a video urinating on the New Mexico logo on the school’s indoor practice field. The video surfaced in September, shortly after New Mexico State’s win at New Mexico. Kill said Saturday that the Pavia incident occurred during the summer, that he didn’t learn about it until after his team beat New Mexico and that he immediately took action once he knew.

Nunez said it was “both misguided and offensive” to insinuate that New Mexico would block the use of its facilities as retaliation for the Pavia incident. Regarding the police presence at New Mexico State’s Thursday practice, Nunez said that was “a bowl decision” and that New Mexico does not handle facilities operations or decisions during bowl week other than loaning out its facilities.

Pavia was not allowed to do interviews for most of the season and performed community service. In an interview last month with KTSM, Pavia apologized to the team for the distraction and said he learned from the mistake. Pavia started throughout the season at quarterback for the Aggies.

“I hope the AD here gets the same damn discipline with the people around this state that Diego got, because he deserves it,” Kill said. “It don’t bother me a damn bit. When he don’t let us … practice in the indoor facility, when he don’t want us to do this and do that, that’s chickens—. I don’t care, that’s my opinion, if I get in trouble, I don’t give a s— either. Because I can go down to Mexico tomorrow, drink margaritas and let you all enjoy your life, because I’ll be enjoying mine. But I’ve got class. I’ve had class my whole life.”

Kill added that he had “never been treated like that.”

In a statement following the news conference, the New Mexico Bowl said it “works with both participating institutions to ensure equal access to training and practice facilities. The University of New Mexico has been gracious hosts of this game for the past 18 years and this year’s game was no exception. Understanding the nature of the both in-state and in-conference rivalries there is always a sense of ensuring that all parties respect each other’s property, which in this case was upheld by both institutions.”

Kill has led New Mexico State to bowl games in each of his first two seasons at the school, and the Aggies reached the Conference USA championship game this fall.

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