OSU booster Boone Pickens: We're looking for another team or we're looking west

BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com Published: September 3, 2011
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photo - Fan Mark Denker watches the Oklahoma State football team warm up prior to the Cowboys game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Fan Mark Denker watches the Oklahoma State football team warm up prior to the Cowboys game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

I don't know. I think OU and OSU, we're Oklahomans, and we're gonna stick together, I think. I don't have any reason to not think that. We go together wherever we go. I think the odds are if you can't fix the Big 12, you go West. And I think everybody pretty well feels that way. If there are going to be questions about the Big 12 with the instability, would it be best to settle things right now?

If it's going to be unsettled every year, I'm afraid that's exactly what we're faced with. But you can fix the Big 12 now. We can. But it has to go to an equal deal. That's what you have to do. And it's not an equal deal. So if you can't get it fixed in the Big 12, you might as well go West.

A year ago, it seemed Texas was in the driver's seat. It doesn't feel that way so much any more. Do you sense a change that with the Longhorn Network they're in a little different spot?

The network could've been the straw that broke the camel's back. A lot of people did not understand how dominant Texas was in the Big 12, how powerful they were. My speech to the Aggies -- and I made it very high up in the deal -- I wanted them to say that it's an equal deal or we're going to go where we can get an equal deal. And they didn't do that. I thought if they would, it would explain more to everybody why they left. I said to them, "Fellas ... make it real clear to everybody why you're leaving. If you don't, it's going to make you look like you're a sorehead, like something was wrong. Just clarify it -- you want an equal deal, and if you don't get it, you're going to go somewhere where you get an equal deal. That simple." But I didn't sell that.

A lot of fingers have been pointed at Texas, but do you feel like ESPN had a hand in all this?

You can't blame ESPN. they're in business to make money and sell their programs and all. They laid it out there, and Texas took it. DeLoss Dodds is a friend of mine, but DeLoss had too many cards and he played every damn one of them. I think that's too bad. But you get tired of saying, "Ahhh" while you get something shoved down your throat. I think that's where we came out.

Do you feel OSU and OU ... are going to be able have some say so in what their future is?

They're not going to dictate to the other schools, but right now, what we have is a conference of nine teams, and you've got eight and one. Eight of them are struggling with Texas, and Texas stands alone. Well, I don't care who you are. One can't beat eight.I don't care how powerful you are. You need to get that cleared up. Texas needs to get that cleared up. All of us do. I don't think Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are going to dictate to the conference. What I want are people to sit down and work it out and get it fixed and stop talking about it. I don't want this to come up again next year, but I do think you've got to go to a conference where everybody's equal.

Is that going to happen?

That's why I say, "Don't rush the monkey and you'll see a better show." I think all that's coming us for us to see pretty quick, and you know, we can sit here all afternoon and predict what's going to happen. You've got three or four cases, and somebody's going to say, "You didn't mention anything about the Big East." No, I'm not going to mention anything about the Big East. You can come up with all sorts of scenarios, but I think the likely one ... is stay in the Big 12 and add a team or go West. I think that's kind of where you are.


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