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Oklahoma State to invest more with Pickens

Oklahoma State
plans to invest another $28 million with alumnus Boone Pickens in its effort to
expand the football stadium that bears the billionaire’s name and build an
athletic village.

The university’s governing board on Friday approved a
resolution to move the funds, which had been earmarked as donations for athletics,
from the OSU Foundation to Cowboy Athletics Inc. and transfer similar donations
to the nonprofit group in the future.

The money will be added to $277 million that Oklahoma
State had previously invested with
BP Capital Management, Pickens’ Dallas-based company. Pickens has been waiving
fees for the university’s investments with his fund.

Under BP Capital’s management, the fund gained $37.6 million
in the first quarter of 2006.

Athletic director Mike Holder said the approval of the
resolution Friday by the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents will allow the
university to obtain a $17 million loan that will be used in the ongoing, $180
million renovation of the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium. The north and
south stands of the stadium have already been renovated, in part because of a
$165 million donation from Pickens.

Oklahoma State also has plans for a new baseball stadium,
tennis facilities, a soccer and track complex, and an equestrian center as part
of an athletic village that will cost the school more than $300 million.
Construction of new outdoor practice fields for the football team will begin in

Holder said he didn’t know if the start date for a new, $50
million indoor athletics practice facility would be affected by the resolution.

“We don’t know,” Holder said. “It all
depends on Boone Pickens’ ability to grow this fund. We won’t build anything
else until we have the money to pay for it.”

– Associated Press

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