But he didn't want Pickens to feel like a lone wolf in terms of backing the proposed project.
“I knew he loved someone else having skin in the game, being committed,” Holder said. “So the $31 million dollars we had saved with the golf program, I told him if you'll donate $165 million, we'll put the $31 million from golf with it and we will dedicate the earnings off that to build the facilities.
“That shows we're equally committed.”
Holder emailed his proposal on Christmas Day 2005, and two days later he was meeting with Pickens, explaining his proposal.
“He asked me to write on the board how I could do all this,” Holder said. “Then he asked how much I was asking for and I said, ‘$165 million.'
“And he said, ‘OK.' Just like that.”
Just like that ... the landscape of OSU football changed.