When you are a person who has donated nearly half a billion dollars to a university — including $165 million in 2005 earmarked for the athletic department generally and work on the football stadium specifically — you tend to have a very rapt audience whenever you decide to toss an opinion out there for public consumption.
Of course, T. Boone Pickens is the philanthropist in question, and the billionaire oilman and Oklahoma State alum just happened to be making a speaking appearance at the Oklahoma State Capitol Wednesday amidst all of this conference turmoil and potential upheaval.
As his Cowboys have been shoved onto the cusp of the rumor mill as part of the SEC possibly answering the Big Ten’s expected expansion, Pickens was asked about the speculation and just where his school should reside conference-wise. Make no mistake that, in his response, the really, really rich guy sees — barring the type of cataclysmic shift that would force Notre Dame out of its football independence — conference games played at T. Boone Pickens Stadium in the future being Big 12 conference games.
“We could sit around and take two and move them there and then take four and move them southeast and four to the west. You know what I mean? But we’re just wasting time,” Pickens told the Associated Press. “Let’s see.
“I’m going to be in the Big 12 until somebody tells me we’re going.”
(Our emphasis added.)
Of course, Pickens’ power and money can only go so far in determining where the Cowboys end up in the future. In fact, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and his SEC counterpart, Mike Slive, may hold more sway in Pickens’ school’s future conference alliance than Pickens himself.
Still, there’s no question that the folks in Stillwater have heard Pickens loud and clear on this issue, and the philanthropist will without a doubt — and rightly so — have a say in any type of movement if/when the apocalypse comes to fruition.
Which it likely won’t. But ain’t it fun speculatin’ and stuff?
Notre Dame rising redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr.‘s status with Brian Kelly’s football team won’t change after he signed with the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
Hunter is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns last year. But even though he now has a professional baseball contract, his focus will remain on football and the beginning of preseason camp in August.
Hunter, the son of former Minnesota Twins, Angels and Detroit Tigers All-Star/Gold Glover Torii Hunter Sr., was a 23rd-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft.
Hunter, an outfielder, was primarily used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement for Mik Aoki’s Irish baseball team this spring. He worked a crazy schedule (“what is sleep?” he asked) to split time between baseball, spring football and classwork in March and April and hit .182/.308/.182 in 11 at-bats.
Hunter’s baseball highlight came at Florida State, though, a few days after he made a spectacular catch reeling in a Malik Zaire deep ball in Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Game.
Auburn could be the beneficiary of an offensive transfer in the not-too-distant future, but the football program has apparently sustained a loss on the other side of the ball.
In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account Sunday, Justin Thomas-Thornton revealed that he will be “pursuing my collegiate football and academic endeavors elsewhere.” The defensive lineman gave no reason for his decision to leave The Plains.
Thomas-Thornton, a four-star 2014 signee, played in the 2015 opener against Louisville, but didn’t see any other action the remainder of the year.
If Thomas-Thornton opts for another FBS program, he will be forced to sit out the 2016 season. He’d then be left with two seasons of eligibility that he’d be able to use beginning in 2017.
Finally, a personnel attrition post on this late-June Sunday that doesn’t involve Baylor.
In mid-May, wide receiver Ryan Sousa announced via Twitter that he had decided to transfer out of the Florida football program, and ultimately landed at FCS Southern Illinois. A little over six weeks later, a fellow Gator receiver has apparently made a similar decision, with Scout.com reporting that Alvin Bailey will leave Jim McElwain‘s squad.
No reason was given for the receiver’s decision, although the recruiting website has an idea as to why.
The Gators added five receivers in the 2016 recruiting class, three of which were on campus in the spring. Junior college transfer Dre Massey seemed to pull ahead of Bailey in the month long practices held between March and April.
The school has declined to address Bailey’s status with the football program.
Bailey was a four-star member of UF’s 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 22 receiver in the country. The production never quite matched the recruiting pedigree, though, with Bailey catching three passes for 49 years in his career in Gainesville. All of those stats came during the 2015 season.
Yep, another post revolving around a now-former Baylor football player.
One of five 2016 BU signees to receive a release from their National Letter of Intent, Kameron Martin took his first visit to a potential destination with a trip to Auburn Friday. In short order, he will take a visit to TCU as well.
“Probably Tuesday,” the running back told al.com, he will make a decision between the Tigers and Horned Frogs.
“(TCU) said I can be an impact player right away,” Martin told the website. “Auburn showed me a lot of love and treated me like family. That’s kind of what I like. I want to go somewhere where they treat me like family. … Auburn was about business, so we’ll see if TCU can show me a good time.”
A four-star 2016 signee according to 247Sports.com, the 5-10, 178-pound Johnson was rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the country; the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 268 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.
As is the case with other 2016 Bears signees who have fled Waco, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 whether he lands at Auburn or TCU.