Oklahoma State is hosting Baylor on homecoming in Boone Pickens Stadium as we speak, but give the stock market just a few more “corrections” and Mr. Pickens might be thinking about selling those naming rights. You see, there’s a little matter of $165 million that he promised the school, and he might not be able to come up with that money.
You may recognize T. Boone Pickens from those commercials where he talks to you in a soothing voice while windmills turn in the background. If you’re like me, you assumed he’s a fringe presidential candidate. But no, he’s pushing alternative energy, which isn’t surprising for someone who’s invested so much money in wind power. He’s also invested money in his alma mater, Oklahoma State. And that’s where the problem lies.
In December of 2005, Pickens pledged $165 million to the Cowboys athletic department to build an athletic village, which must be something like an Olympic village, except nobody lives there because they’re students and they all have dorms. Anyway, it was the single largest donation in college history — and that’s any college, not just OK State.) That’s pretty generous, but Pickens wasn’t done yet. He wanted that donation to grow and grow, so he invested it in his own hedge fund. Starting to see what might have gone wrong?
You work for a major national company for 11 years in a regional office. You probably don’t expect to get any attention from the very high rungs of the company. One day, the CEO of said company wants to talk to you — not about you, but about your son, who happens to be very good at basketball. This is the scenario that has the NCAA investigating John Calipari’s program at Memphis after FedEx’s CEO called one of his employees, who happens to be the mom of a prized recruit (hat tip to THE BIG LEAD.)
FOX SPORTS’ Jeff Goodman has the skinny on the violation, which the university reported to the NCAA, as David Bronczek is not just FedEx’s chief, but a major booster to Memphis’ athletic programs.
The website COACHES HOT SEAT came out with their final 2007 rankings. And the guy with the toastiest buns was Washington’s Tyrone Willingham:
Another disappointing season in Seattle - and a 11-25 record in 3 years - has Ty taking top honors. And Husky fans aren’t too comfortable being #1 in that category. One benevolent booster even promised to give his alma mater $100,000 - on the condition they bid Tyrone toodle-oo.
The BELLINGHAM HERALD reports that multi-millionaire Ed Hansen also placed a $100,000 bounty of athletic director Todd Turner’s head. He further pledges, “I do not intend to contribute any further funds to the athletic department as long as these two gentlemen are employed by the University.”
Seems that someone’s been taking notes from Ken Kendrick. So, it would seem a bit strange that a coach supposedly in such hot water would be given some kind of job security.