STILLWATER — Oklahoma State's Oct. 1 target date to start construction on an indoor practice facility will likely be pushed back, OSU athletic director Mike Holder said. Holder gave the tentative date in June and said earlier this week that he does not have a new target date. The reason for the date being pushed back? "Have you seen the price of oil?” Holder asked rhetorically. The price of oil is significant because the facility — along with all of Oklahoma State's other planned athletic facility upgrades — will be built with money borrowed against the money that exists in Boone Pickens' hedge fund, which includes Pickens' 2006 donation of $165 million. So when oil took a hit at the beginning of the third quarter, so did the fund. Holder said Pickens only releases quarterly reports and has not made anything public after the second quarter, so it is not possible to know how much money is currently in the fund. "Nothing has changed,” Holder said. "It's always been in the hands of Boone Pickens. When he grows the fund to a level where we feel comfortable starting a new project, we'll start on the indoor practice facility.” Holder said he has always thought that level — where he will be comfortable starting a new project — is around $400 million. The proposed indoor facility, which will be built across Hall of Fame from Boone Pickens Stadium, will include a full-size soccer field and football field. A track straightaway, along with space and features for baseball and softball, including batting cage nets, are planned. A separate indoor tennis facility is scheduled to come later. The facility, the first in line after the improvements and addition of the West end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium, will be called the Sherman Smith Training Center, in honor of the alumnus who donated $20 million earmarked for the facility.
OSU athletic director Mike Holder said he does not have a new target date. BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN