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Mike Gundy on His Respect for T. Boone Pickens after Tulsa Victory

Gundy on Boone: “I have a ton of respect.”



Saturday was the first time the Cowboys took to the field since T. Boone Pickens died.

Oklahoma State topped in-state foe Tulsa 40-21 on Saturday, three days after Pickens’ passing. He died after donating $652 million to the university in his lifetime. He helped build OSU’s athletic program to what it is today without throwing a ball or calling a play. And helped is an understatement.

It’s no secret Pickens and OSU football coach Mike Gundy didn’t always see eye to eye, but the two had a relationship built on respect, Gundy said after the Tulsa game.

“It’s sad,” Gundy said. “Mr. Pickens and I went head-to-head a lot. He won most all of them. But I had a lot of respect for him, and I think he respected me. Between Mr. Pickens and President (Burns) Hargis, Coach (Mike) Holder, and myself, we won a hell of a lot of football games and been successful. He’s been his own boss for 70 years, and I’ve been mine for 15. So sometimes you have confrontation, but I have a ton of respect.”

The Cowboys wore commemorative “BOONE” stickers on their helmets against Tulsa and will for the remainder of the season. The university is holding a public “Celebration of Life” on Sept. 25 at Gallagher-Iba Arena for Pickens.

Pickens was mentioned on College GameDay on Saturday morning, and there was a moment of silence for Pickens before Saturday’s game despite OSU being on the road.

The Pokes won’t be back in the palace that Pickens built until their Sept. 28 matchup against Kansas State. It’s sure to be an emotional day, just as Gundy said Saturday was.

“It’s kinda sad, ya know,” Gundy said. “It’s sad knowing that he’s not there. It really is, and it feels weird. We’ll have a couple nice tributes to him, and them I’m sure we’ll have some stuff at Karsten Creek and on campus for him to remember his legacy forever.”

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