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Under siege by a surge of COVID-19, the state of New Mexico has prohibited gatherings of more than five people – a restriction that makes it impossible to play football and basketball at state high schools and universities.

So then what should these teams do with themselves in the meantime?

New Mexico high school sports simply canceled or postponed their seasons until 2021. But the state’s only two Division I universities took an alternate approach: Teams from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State instead packed up and left the state this month to avoid the state health order, raising the eyebrows of public health experts and the governor’s office.

By crossing state lines, they can continue practicing under looser restrictions, even if it means relocating more than 350 miles away to the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in