Thats quote from T. Boone Pickens, the 79 yr old multi-billionaire oilman and now, college philanthropist. He was responding to a question from Bernard (nobody cares about his politics) Goldman as to whether his 165 million dollar gift to Oklahoma State University was part of a 5 year plan to produce winning football teams. He’s saying that he wants to change things around fast, to see an immediate impact in the win/loss column.
Heres the deal. Pickens donated the 165 million to his alma mater for the purpose of building a Xanadu-like facility for the University’s athletes. Beautiful new stadium, 3 separate practice fields, training rooms equipped with latest and best of everything, including waterfalls, 72 inch LCD televisions and a fully stocked juice bar. The idea is that better facilities will attract better recruits, which will bring in more fans, who will give more money to the University.
His Management company is overseeing how the funds are disbursed, and charging no fee for doing so.
He “suggested” that the golf pro at the University be named Athletic Director. He was.
The new Stadium’s name? You guessed it, T. Boone Pickens Field.
Pickens has stated that the 165 million was essentially a ‘down payment”, and that he would spend “whatever it takes” to see Oklahoma State University become a college football powerhouse.
I’ll start by saying that I believe the man has the right to spend his money however he pleases.
That said, I’m wondering what a 165 million dollar investment in say, the science department might have produced in a few years? Perhaps a cure for the common cold? A cure for AIDS? How about a totally clean and abundant fuel?
Also, Mr. Pickens has said that if the time came to pick a new University President, he would “definitely be involved.” Has he purchased this right?
There are a handful of professors and students that are opposing his efforts, (I love their chances) but its an understatement to say that they are a tiny minority in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
I’m of the opinion that if he gave the money with no strings attached, I have no problem with it, though I would have been impressed with matching funds for some other departments. Right now, I’m wondering how long before the team mascot is morphed from Cowboy to say, Roughneck? Will the school someday be known as T. Boone U. ® ?
What say you?
H/T: The best show on TV, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.