T. Boone Pickens

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T. Boone Pickens prefers Houston and SMU for Big 12 expansion, rips Boren, still not besties with Gundy


If you though the rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State was strictly on the football field, think again. Bedlam reaches beyond the gridiron and now has T. Boone Pickens slinging mud at Oklahoma president David Boren.

According to Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman, the Oklahoma State donor shared some comments about the Big 12 expansion saga that continues to drag its feet. Pickens reportedly prefers the Big 12 to add within the current Big 12 foot print by inviting Houston and SMU from the American Athletic Conference. That’s probably good news for fans of Houston and SMU, if they believe Boone’s influence carries any weight in this process (it doesn’t, but we don’t have to pour cold water on this subject for now). But the interesting part of the report included a jab at Oklahoma’s president, who recently appeared to suggest he was fine with a 10-team Big 12 only to respond by saying no decisions have been made where Oklahoma stands on expansion.

“I’ve known David forever. He likes to talk. He gets a little bit confused sometimes,” Pickens said. He also suggested “maybe it’s time for David to retire.”

Pickens also updated his relationship status with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.

“I don’t have any conversations with Gundy,” Pickens said. In late December 2014 there appeared to be some friction between the head coach and top donor when Pickens proclaimed he didn’t care who coached the team while suggesting he will always support the program and university, his alma mater. Gundy looked to make sure the two were on common ground. Things appeared to have smoothed over by the following spring, but the two are not exactly hanging out together in their spare time.

“I don’t know, but Mike doesn’t handle people relationships very well. And he gets mad about things,” Pickens explained. “I’ve heard he’s written some notes about me that weren’t very complimentary.”

Excuse me while I file away a Freedom of Information Act request for access to these notes…

T. Boone Pickens and Mike Gundy are cool again, but for how long?


Few question the loyalty and commitment to success T. Boone Pickens has for his beloved alma mater at Oklahoma State. When thew Cowboys are winning, Pickens is smiling. It was not too long ago Oklahoma State was among the top programs in the Big 12, but the relationship between Mike Gundy, the head football coach of Oklahoma State, and the largest donor to the school had reportedly become strenuous. In some worlds, this creates a divide that can go against the football coach, but the two seem to be trying to make things work.

There’s no question we kind of drifted apart,” Pickens said in a story for The Dallas Morning News. That changed following a recent meeting and talk this offseason. “When we visited, we both agreed that we loved the university. We might not be identified as weekend fishing buddies together but the most important thing is Oklahoma State and we both understand that.

In other words, they both want what is best for Oklahoma State, even though they may see things a bit differently. In any event, they decided to let bygones be bygones. That’s not a bad way to go about it. That said, Pickens still wants to have a presence around the football program, including coming and talking to the team at spring practice. That happened this afternoon.

Gundy appears to be happy establishing a better relationship as well, and why not? Pickens has plenty of influence around Oklahoma State, and if he wanted to pay to bring in a new coach he could probably make it happen.

“My goal is for it to become great over six months to a year from now,” Gundy said to The Dallas Morning News. “If you’re trying to have a good relationship, it doesn’t develop overnight.”

As is the case with most sports teams, winning tends to have a way of patching up rocky relationships pretty quickly.