Boone Pickens: Any ideas?
I got a note from Boone Pickens on Tuesday, after he read my column calling for Dez Bryant’s eligibility to be restored by the NCAA.
“Thanks for a succinct analysis of the Dez Bryant issue. It’s unfair to hold someone up. A sentence should be given for whatever it’s for. What else do they have to study? If you have any ideas on what else we can do to help, I’m all ears. Boone”
I told Pickens I had no idea how to make the NCAA move. My only idea was to shed some light on the unfairness of the situation. Maybe if enough people say, wait a minute, is this what you really want to do?, then something might move. As Pickens said, “It’s a sad deal for the kids.”
But isn’t it interesting? Pickens, the OSU benefactor who is like a collegiate owner, a man who has funded Cowboy football into a competitive franchise much like Phil Knight has at Oregon, isn’t calling for restoration of Bryant’s eligibility. He’s just asking the NCAA to decide.
Is that such a huge request? Think about it. As Pickens suggested, what else does the NCAA need to know? If the NCAA wants to stay hard-core in its punishment of Bryant for lying to investigators, fine. Say so. Say, hey bud, you’re gone for the rest of the season. If there’s room for leniency and a three-game suspension is sufficient, say so. Don’t make a three-game suspension a six-game suspension just because it’s more convenient for committee members’ schedules.
But isn’t it also interesting that Pickens feels helpless in this situation? This is one of America’s most influential businessmen. He’s a man who is accustomed to getting things done, usually his way. A man who thinks he can take on the task of changing American energy habits.
And yet Pickens’ hands are tied by the NCAA. Not that he could buy off the NCAA or even influence the NCAA committee. But it’s an odd juxtaposition. In Texas wildcatting or water rights, in hedge funds and billion-dollar deals, Pickens is right at home. But when it comes to getting an NCAA committee to decide one way or the other, Pickens is out of ideas and even asking for help.
I’m pretty sure Boone Pickens rarely is out of ideas.
Think about that the next time you hear about someone wanting to take on the NCAA.
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