N.M. State's 'Pistol Pete' Losing Pistol

New Mexico State University's (search) mascot, Pistol Pete (search), is being disarmed.

University officials have also stripped the word "Pistol" from Pete's name. The new logo shows Pete twirling a lasso. The old Pete toted a pistol.

The changes are part of a marketing plan to remake the university's image on the national stage. Officials have been working on a redesign of Pistol Pete for months.

Athletics director McKinley Boston (search) said the university plans to unveil the new Pete later this month.

The decision to remove the pistol had more to do with a consensus when picking from several designs of the new logo, rather than any push for the mascot to stop brandishing a weapon, Boston said.

He acknowledged there are mixed feelings among alumni, but said he has heard more positive feedback than negative.

Though no one seems to know exactly how long Pete has been around NMSU, the current costume is 40 years old.

Oscar Avalos, a 2003 NMSU graduate, was disappointed that Pete will no longer be packing his pistol at sporting events.

"Is he going to be Lasso Pete now?" Avalos asked.

NMSU also has unveiled new football uniforms and helmets, and officially designated crimson and white as its colors, eliminating black from all uniforms.