There is a misconception about our 2008 football policies that needs to be clarified. They have very little to do with 2008. As a staff, we knew the ticket policies were going to be heavily scrutinized — and criticized. We spent long meetings debating the pros and cons of instigating a policy that would result in only having season tickets available for Bedlam. Throughout our internal (and some external) dialogue, however, we came back to the same rather obvious conclusions: at the heart of the Oklahoma State program is a great group of fans that support us through thick and thin. And those fans need help. It is imperative that we grow our season ticket base if we are to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves as a football program and as an athletic department. Buying football season tickets is a great way to support John Smith’s wrestling program, Frank Anderson and Cowboy baseball, Kurt Budke and the Cowgirls, a women’s soccer program that claimed its first Big 12 championship in 2008, and a men’s cross country team that is also coming off its first Big 12 title. Short-term bumps in the road were predictable. We did not expect to fill every nook of an expanded Boone Pickens Stadium in 2008. But we did want to take a step in that direction. This fall our season ticket sales reached a new record. At this writing, they have climbed past 39,600 and are still being purchased. For the first time in school history, Oklahoma State drew more than 50,000 fans in three straight home games. Our job is to ensure that the 2008 season represents a beginning. Those numbers themselves cannot be the accomplishment, but the start of something bigger. With the construction on Boone Pickens Stadium entering its final months, a major piece of the OSU football puzzle is falling into place. Most of the nation’s football powers have first-class facilities packed with season ticket holders. At Oklahoma State we are halfway there. The second part of the equation may be the most important. Mike Holder is OSU vice-president for athletic programs and director of intercollegiate athletics.