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Boone Spewing Gold



I wanted to re-publish some of Boone Pickens’ quotes from the Jim Thorpe Association Leadership Luncheon on Wednesday because I didn’t feel like the Oklahoman’s sidebar did them enough justice.

We’re all acutely aware of the fact that Oklahoma State has a benefactor the likes of which college athletics has never seen. The ironic thing, to me anyway, is that for all the money that’s been poured in, facilities that’ve been built, and efforting that has gone on, the three main figures in the success of this year’s team (Weeden, Gundy, and #81) likely would have come to OSU anyway. Another post another time though.

Here’s Boone on just how OSU got a hold of his bank routing number.

Mike came to the ranch — we hunted together and got to know each other very well — and (he) kept saying, ‘You want to be competitive and we’re not competitive.’ He said, ‘Our facilities are horrible.’ I said, ‘Well, figure up how much it’ll take to be competitive.’ I’m doing pretty good about this time. I’m making some money. I’d just gotten out of a bad divorce, so I knew exactly what I had. I had exactly half of what I did have.

I’m fairly certain Boone’s definition of “doing pretty good” is a standard deviation or two apart from my definition.

Mike had this spread sheet, and this spread sheet kept getting bigger, but I was not giving him any money. He finally brought the spread sheet over and said, ‘$300 million will make us competitive.’ ‘$300 million? I’m not going to give you $300 million.’

That was wrong.

I love that Holder is putting this entire operation together with a spreadsheet. I’m not being sarcastic either. I’m not a Holder fan, but you can’t deny the job he’s done in the last five plus years. And it all started with a .xls file. If Holgorsen was in charge it would have started over a 17-hour blackjack game when he and Boone were both 10 vodka tonics deep. But I digress. (note: I think I could write 100 straight posts that started with the sentence “if Holgorsen was in charge…”)

Here’s Boone again:

We’re getting serious in 2005, and I said, ‘I can tell you one thing, I’m not going to give OSU $300 million until I’ve got somebody over there that I think knows what they’re doing and taking care of the money.’ Well, I knew he was tighter than hell.

I don’t think he means, like, “cool and hip.”

He’d raised so much money for OSU golf, built that golf course over there, never borrowed any money and had money in the bank. He could’ve built another golf course. I said, ‘I’ve gotta have somebody that looks after the money closely.’ He said, ‘Well, what’re you thinkin’?’ I said, ‘I’m thinkin’ you.’ He said, ‘Well, I don’t want to be athletic director.’ I said, ‘Fine, roll up your sheet. I don’t want to give $300 million.’

Then I really hurt his feelings. I said, ‘You know, you’ve gone through pretty well most of your life with your feet on the handle bars.’ He said, ‘Well, what do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘You figured out how to win at golf, and you just keep doing it over and over again, and it’s gotten so it’s easy. So, you don’t really ever have to pedal. You just get on and everything goes smooth for you.’ He said, ‘I didn’t have my feet on the handle bars.’ I said, ‘Well, you need to be challenged. You need to get a job where you’re really challenged.’ He said, ‘Well, what are you thinking about?’ I said, ‘I’m thinking about you as athletic director. You love the university. You’ve raised money. You like all the sports. You go to all the games whether golf, football or anything else. You’re over there, you and (wife) Robbie are, at everything. You’d be perfect for the job. Now, I’ve got to convince Dave Schmidly you’re perfect for the job, too.’

This is classic Boone. Rip somebody for being safe and pull out the rug while they aren’t looking so you can get them to do what you want them to do. This is what the man does. Need any more convincing, I give you this:

Schmidly, he wasn’t sure. He needed to do a world-wide search for an athletic director. I said, ‘You’d better think about doing a world-wide search for $300 million.’

That, my friends, is what we call the dagger.

It went down pretty easy.

It did indeed Boone, just like that crown and coke is going to go down on Bourbon Street in a little over two months.

Credit: Jenni Carlson on the article.

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