STILLWATER — One burning question has been answered with Frank Anderson's firing at Oklahoma State, announced Tuesday, ending ongoing speculation attached to the baseball program's inconsistency.
Still another burning question remains: How good is this job, with no plans to address the aged Reynolds Stadium and an operating budget that insiders report lags significantly behind the Big 12's big boys?
The lineup of serious candidates interested in replacing Anderson will ultimately provide that answer, yet those are issues sure to come up in interviews with OSU athletic director Mike Holder.
Any top candidate will surely request — if not demand — major improvements or even a replacement for Reynolds Stadium. The facility, generally considered the worst in the Big 12, opened in 1981 and has received few additions or face-lifts since.
How important are facilities? Ask Mike Gundy, who regularly credits Boone Pickens' role in transforming the football stadium as a required initial step in transforming the program.
Anderson once had the promise of a new stadium, part of the proposed Athletic Village and budgeted for $30 million, due to be completed in 2011. But that project was shelved when the money invested from Pickens' major donation took a market hit.
Then there's the cash flow, which those with knowledge of the operating budget say falls as much as $1 million behind the league's front-runners.
At least the next coach won't have to deal with the scholarship limitations that hindered Anderson's recruiting for eight of his nine years on the job.
During his run, Anderson only enjoyed a full scholarship allotment once — this season, with administrative mistakes at the root of regular reductions.
“When Frank took this job, no one anticipated that he would have to endure five years of very significant scholarship reductions due to miscalculations by the compliance office,” Holder said in a statement announcing Anderson's firing Tuesday. “Even though Frank was not responsible for the errors, he accepted his fate with a positive attitude and never used the situation as an excuse.
“I commend him for his loyal service to OSU and regret that he didn't get nine years with a full allotment of scholarships and a level playing field with the competition.”
Where does the job rank in the Big 12? Realistically, behind Texas and Baylor, which operate with much larger resources. Outgoing Texas A&M rated much higher, too, while replacement TCU already had everything except a major conference affiliation — until now.
Oklahoma, too, has put more money and effort into its program.
Assuming all that is accurate, OSU ranks about fifth in the Big 12, right where the Cowboys finished in the league standings.