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Kit Carson Rifle shelved as symbol of Arizona-New Mexico rivalry

December 19, 1997

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ The winner of the Insight.com bowl next week won’t be getting a gun as part of the spoils of victory.

Officials at Arizona and New Mexico have agreed to shelve the ``Kit Carson Rifle″ once given as a trophy to the victor of football games between the two schools.

The rifle, inscribed with the winners of games in a rivalry lasting from 1937 to 1976, is nicknamed after the commander of U.S. troops which forced most Navajos to a concentration camp in New Mexico in the 1860s. Legend has it that it was acquired in a trade from Apache leader Geronimo, who died in Oklahoma in 1909.

Concern about the gun’s symbolism as a weapon against American Indians outweighed its value as a relic of the schools’ former rivalry, University of Arizona spokesman Tom Duddleston Jr. said. The gun’s true origins also are unclear, he said.

``We felt it just didn’t ring true,″ Duddleston said.

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