Billionaire and oil magnate T. Boone Pickens is one of Oklahoma State’s staunchest supporters and boosters. And boy, he is not happy.
You can thank Sports Illustrated, which released the first in a five-part series on Tuesday about OSU football’s alleged indiscretions.
The first report details how Oklahoma State football players were allegedly paid. You can check out what some of them said here:
Not too surprisingly, Pickens has rushed to the defense of the program to which he has admittedly given $500 million (Forbes says that Pickens is worth roughly $1.2 billion in case you were wondering).
Here’s Pickens talking about how the Oklahoma State program has changed, and why he is disappointed in the Sports Illustrated report. The video was posted on an Oklahoma State website that is responding specifically to the SI allegations.
Here’s the transcript of what he said:
There’s one word I have for the Sports Illustrated reporting on Oklahoma State University: Disappointing.
This series is not reflective of Oklahoma State University today. Many of their sensational allegations go back a decade ago.
There have been wholesale changes at the school in recent years in leadership and facilities. During that time, I have given more than $500 million to OSU, for athletics and academics. Have I gotten my money’s worth? You bet. We have a football program that has a commitment to principled sportsmanship. They understand the expectations we, as fans and supporters, have for the program. We have an incredible and growing fan base, and a loyal group of alums that believe in the character of our players, coaches and administrators.
But I do welcome this scrutiny. If people take the time, it’s an opportunity to better understand where Oklahoma State is today, not a decade ago. It’s a different university today. It’s a better university. If there are areas where we need to improve, we’ll do it.
Which leads me back to my disappointment with Sports Illustrated, and their failure to ask the most important question of all: What’s happening at OSU today? Not a decade ago.
On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated posted the second part in the series, which highlights players alleging academic misconduct for the program’s top players.