STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Prominent Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens said Saturday he's been pleased with the performance of football coach Mike Gundy but wants to see the Cowboys beat Big 12 South rivals Oklahoma and Texas.
The billionaire energy magnate spoke before Oklahoma State hosted Washington State in the season opener for both teams. He has given more than $500 million to his alma mater, including $165 million in January 2006 to help convert what is now Boone Pickens Stadium into a showpiece.
Pickens long has maintained that he doesn't make the decisions when it comes to Oklahoma State athletics, but there is little doubt his opinion carries considerable weight with those who do, including athletic director Mike Holder.
“Go back five years, when I made the big gift,” Pickens said. “You remember what I said: ‘We're going to get competitive.’ … Last year, I told Holder and Gundy, I said, ‘I'm getting tired of being competitive. Now I want to win.“’
Although Oklahoma State posted its second straight nine-win season in 2009, the Cowboys struggled offensively at times after star receiver Dez Bryant was suspended after three games and injuries limited quarterback Zac Robinson and tailback Kendall Hunter. Oklahoma State managed only seven points combined in losses to Oklahoma and Mississippi to close last season, the latter in the Cotton Bowl.