Boone Pickens in 2005: Hire Mike Holder as athletic director or I won't donate the money

OKLAHOMA STATE -- Mega-booster Boone Pickens recounts his decision to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to his alma mater, and how OSU's former president needed a little convincing on the terms.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 26, 2011
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“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.'

“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.'

“It went down pretty easy.”


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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