ASU spirit cone comes home from Tucson

Tempe; USG; ASU; UA; Spirit Cone Tempe Undergraduate Student Government President Mark Naufel with the ASU spirit cone that was stolen back from UA on Jan. 17, after being in the rival's possession for more than 30 years. (Photo by Molly J Smith)

Tempe Undergraduate Student Government President Mark Naufel returned an old ASU spirit cone to campus Jan. 17.

UA students stole the cone at a football game more than 30 years ago.

Since the original theft, the cone has been kept in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s president’s office as a trophy.

Under the Arizona Statute of Limitations, misdemeanor thefts are limited to one year.

UA possession of the cone for more than a year meant the statute had lapsed, and the return of the cone could technically be considered theft of UA's property.

To Naufel’s knowledge, no previous attempts have ever been made to bring the cone back.

Naufel said current ASUA president Katy Murray bragged about the cone when he visited her office, adding that many UA students knew about the cone-turned-trophy.

“I joked that my mission before I ended my term was to bring it back,” he said.

Naufel made good on that promise Jan. 17, and posted a double picture of the cone to his Facebook page Jan. 18.

One frame of the picture showed the cone stored upside down on a shelf in Murray’s office; the other frame showed it back in its rightful home in Naufel’s office.

The picture was posted the day before ASU played UA in basketball. It was picked up by the Sun Devil Athletics Facebook page and received more than 3,000 likes.

However, the return of the cone did not bring the team luck in that game, as many had hoped.

Naufel said USG is still on the lookout for a return prank from UA and joked about putting the cone in a glass case for safekeeping, because it could possibly ignite a “stealing war.”

“I think it’s all in a friendly rivalry,” he said.

Murray did not return a call for comment.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @amy_medeiros

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