Boone Pickens: Big 12 isn't dead; Texas A&M ‘sobering up'

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT – Oklahoma State benefactor Boone Pickens calls on Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry to step in to save the Big 12 Conference.
BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Published: September 20, 2011
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Boone Pickens doesn't believe the Big 12 is dead. The Oklahoma State benefactor even believes Texas A&M's departure for the SEC can be stopped.

“I think the Aggies are sobering up,” Pickens told The Oklahoman.

Pickens has even pulled out the big sales job. He's petitioned Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Pickens said he told Perry to show America that “you fix problems, don't contribute to 'em.”

Perry is a former Texas A&M yell leader. “After the Aggies leave school, they're still looking for a yell leader,” Pickens said. He said he told Perry to be that leader.

Pickens, whose BP Capital Management office is based in Dallas and who has many A&M ties, said a month ago that he tried to talk the Aggie leadership into staying in the Big 12 but it was a lost cause.

Now, Pickens said he's not so sure.

“I keep thinking they're hearing me,” Pickens said. “I'm not sure they're listening to me. But they trust me.”

Pickens said Baylor's threat of a lawsuit is real. The Bears have declined to waive their right to sue the SEC, should the Aggies be admitted to that conference.

“Baylor is going to do anything,” Pickens said. He likened Baylor to the jackrabbit that is chased by the faster greyhound but isn't caught.

“The difference is, one's running for the fun of it,” Pickens said, “and one's running for its life. There's no question they'll file a lawsuit. They sure can stir up a hell of a lot of problems.”

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