Despite FBI investigation, UTEP fans rally for men's basketball team

Updated: Thursday, January 9 2014, 10:14 PM MST
Despite FBI investigation, UTEP fans rally for men

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas The UTEP men's basketball team hit the court Thursday night for the first time since an FBI investigation kicked three players off the team.

About 7,600 fans rallied at the Don Haskins Center to watch the Miners take on the Charlotte 49ers.

It's been a rough year for the men's basketball team starting with losing prized recruit Isaac Hamilton and leading up to the FBI investigation, but that didn't start die-hard Miner fans from showing up to give support to a team that desperately needs it.

As KFOX14 previously reported, McKenzie Moore, Jalen Ragland and Justin Crosgile were kicked off the team after they bet on at least one sporting event, according to a press conference UTEP held earlier this week.

As a Miner fan for more than 30 years, Patricia Flores wont let an FBI investigation get in the way. She didn't waste any time showing up decked out in orange and blue.

"We got to have their back," she said. "We just have to; that's what fans are for."

When she first heard of the news, she said a lot of rumors were flying around.

"My first reaction was they're kids. They made a mistake, everybody was trying to speculate, 'oh this happened, that happened,' It's like OK, shut up, leave it alone, we'll find out sooner or later," Flores said.

Luis Bustillos and his daughter Samantha believe the team isn't at fault for the actions of a few.

"There's been talk on Instagram and Facebook and stuff. What are people saying? Just like, "Oh, it's a shock; what's UTEP going to do? They'll hold it together; they're a pretty good team," Samantha Bustillos said.

UTEP lost to Charlotte 73 to 68.

Despite FBI investigation, UTEP fans rally for men's basketball team
comments powered by Disqus

More El Paso Sports

UTEP men's basketball: Free orange, white scrimmage is Saturday
UTEP fans will get their first glimpse of the latest version of Miner basketball at 3 p.m. Saturday when the team goes through a free Orange-White scrimmage in the Don Haskins Center.
High school football: Franklin too much for El Dorado in District 1-6A showdown
The No. 1-ranked Franklin Cougars have been focused, determined and playing with a purpose all season long.
High school football: Americas' Drennan drives 'Blazers past Coronado
Americas quarterback Q Drennan completed 9 of 16 passes for 135 yards with a touchdown, and rushed for 90 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns to lead the Trailblazers to a 42-21 victory over Coronado.
High school football: Del Valle Conquistadores defeat Hanks Knights, 60-7
The Del Valle High School football team dominated Hanks High School on Friday night beating them 60-7.
High school football: Ysleta manhandles Parkland
The Ysleta Indians forced six turnovers and shut out the Parkland Matadors 32-0 to clinch their first playoff berth and winning season in 12 years.
High school football: Eastwood clobbers Socorro
The Eastwood Troopers scored four touchdowns and a field goal in the first half of the game to blow past the Socorro Bulldogs in an early game at the Socorro Student Activities Complex on Friday.
UTEP football notebook: Miners, Golden hope to get return game going
UTEP halted a three-game special teams slide against UTSA with the type of performance it made routine in the first month of the season.
UTEP football: Miners going for third straight win in game against Southern Miss
UTEP has proved it can bounce back from a dark place.
Matthew Aguilar: 'Polish Prince' Fonfara hopes to continue momentum
Andrzej Fonfara wasn't expected to be kryptonite for WBC light heavyweight champ Adonis "Superman" Stevenson when they fought back in May.
Girls cross country: District 3-4A sends 5 runners to state
LUBBOCK >> Nine El Paso girls — five from District 3-4A and three from the same household — qualified for the UIL State Cross Country Championship in Round Rock on Nov. 8.
Boys cross country: Five El Paso teams advance to state meets
LUBBOCK >> The San Elizario boys cross country team made school history Friday and the Tornillo boys continued their string of state meet appearances with each winning a Region 1 cross country championship at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
Five NFL Punt, Pass & Kick participants to represent El Paso at Cowboys game
Five El Paso champions from the Price's Creameries Give 'Em Five NFL Punt, Pass and Kick will travel to Arlington to represent the Sun City at the Dallas Cowboys game Sunday.
High school football week 10 matchups
When: 4:30 p.m. today Where: Socorro Student Activities Complex Records: Socorro is 0-4 in District 1-6A, 2-6 overall; Eastwood is 2-2 in District 1-6A, 5-3 overall Last week: Socorro lost to El
High school football: Eastlake too much for Riverside in District 2-5A showdown
During their six-game winning streak, the Eastlake Falcons have found different ways of finding success.
›› Photos: El Paso-area high school football, week 10
High school football: Aztecs hunt for Cougars' top spot in 1-6A, do battle Friday
When El Dorado and Franklin play tonight at Franklin High School, it will be like staring at a mirror for the players.

More Las Cruces Sports

PREP FOOTBALL: Knights stop Dawgs to close season
LAS CRUCES >> The turnaround of the Oñate football program in 2014 continued on Friday night. And on Friday night, the Knights got the key plays it needed on defense, especially in the second
Friday night New Mexico prep football scores
Albuquerque High 25, Rio Grande 22
PREP FOOTBALL: Centennial suffers first loss of season at Belen
In a possible Class 5A state title game preview, Belen beat Centennial 38-35 in Belen on Friday in a District 3-5A showdown.
NMSU FOOTBALL: Five keys to beat the Bobcats
LAS CRUCES >> The New Mexico State football team has lost its last six games and three of those contest have been in Sun Belt Conference play.
PREP SOCCER: Hawks advance with first-round win over Valencia
LAS CRUCES >> The Centennial boys soccer team continues to advance as a program. The No. 7 Hawks advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over No.
PREP FOOTBALL HERO: Oñate running back named Week 9 Hero
LAS CRUCES - Oñate running back Marcus Montoya won the Week 9 Prep Football Hero poll at
NMSU FOOTBALL: Aggies hope to end six-game losing streak with home game against Texas State
LAS CRUCES >> It was a different time in the college football landscape, but Dennis Franchione proved a football team from New Mexico could indeed play in the postseason.
PREP FOOTBALL: Mayfield can now shift focus to rival Bulldawgs
LAS CRUCES >> Mayfield can now focus on next week's rivalry game with Las Cruces High. And in their game the week before the big in-town matchup, the Trojans routed Gadsden 52-7 Thursday night
PREP FOOTBALL: Aeneas Reynolds stepping up big for Las Cruces High
LAS CRUCES >> With the injuries the Las Cruces High football team has had to key players this season, the Bulldawgs have needed different players to step up.
NMSU ATHLETICS: Nine New Mexico State AD candidates will interview next weekend in El Paso
LAS CRUCES >> Larry Lujan confirmed that two candidates for the New Mexico State athletics director position had withdrawn from the interview process.
NMSU GOLF: Medina earns WAC Golfer of the Month
DENVER, Colo. >> New Mexico State sophomore Luis Medina has been named the Western Athletic Conference Golfers of the Month for October as announced by the league office on Thursday.
NMSU VOLLEYBALL: New Mexico State holds off Seattle for WAC win
For the Sun-News LAS CRUCES >> The New Mexico State volleyball team served Seattle its 13th loss of the season Thursday, beating the Redhawks in four sets 25-16, 19-25, 25-19 and 25-20 at the
NMSU VOLLEYBALL: Aggies close out home schedule this weekend
LAS CRUCES >> The New Mexico State volleyball team (12-9, 6-3 Western Athletic Conference) concludes this season's home schedule with two critical WAC matche against Seattle and Utah Valley.
PREP SOCCER: Las Cruces girls look to advance
LAS CRUCES >> Early round exits are not the norm for Las Cruces girls soccer coach Jacquelyn Paz.
Aggies push tempo in 1st preseason scrimmage
LAS CRUCES >> The New Mexico State University men's basketball team wants to be more up-tempo on offense this season.

Come back for updates on El Paso local sports teams. KFOX covers topics including local sports, basketball, football and other types of sports. KFOX is dedicated to providing up to date news about Local Sports for El Paso and New Mexico region.

American Sports Network