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T. Boone Pickens expecting big-time return on his investment

by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 18, 2009 at 10:52 am •  Published: August 18, 2009
STILLWATER — Madeleine Pickens marveled as she stood in the middle of Oklahoma State’s expansive football weight room.

On the morning her husband took the grand tour of the newest part of the football stadium bearing his name, she got her own look at the completed west end zone. The immaculate locker room. The high-tech training room. The cushy team meeting room.

"It’s pretty, isn’t it?” she gushed.

Sure is.

Now what?

Gone are the artist renderings for the expansion and renovation at Boone Pickens Stadium. Ditto for the blueprints. What was once a concept is now a reality of brick and mortar, concrete and steel — $286 million worth, to be exact.

More than half of that, of course, was given by T. Boone Pickens, and when you write a check with as many zeros as the one he did several years back, that money comes with expectations. We’re not just talking about what the facility will look like or the amenities will be like, either.

There’s an expectation of success, too.

"I don’t talk about competing anymore,” Pickens said Monday morning. "I talk about winning.”

Pickens made a grand donation, and he wants grand results in return. He makes no bones about it, either. The Cowboys need to win championships and trophies and rings. Not in a decade. Not in a few years.

"The sooner the better at my age,” the 81-year-old said with a grin. "I’m not working on a five-year plan or a 10-year plan. I’m working on one that will happen as quick as possible.”

His bold prediction: OSU will be undefeated heading into the regular-season finale at OU.

Pickens understands the tough road that the Cowboys must travel.

"You look down south, what’d you got?” he said. "You’ve got a Heisman Trophy winner, and he decides he wants to come back for another year.”

Pickens shook his head.

"I’d have given anything if Sam Bradford had gone on to the pros, but he said he was having too much fun.”

Same goes for Colt McCoy at Texas.

"We’re playing the same guys who were tough last year,” Pickens said.

by Jenni Carlson
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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