Oklahoma State’s most famous athletic donor released a statement on Saturday, October 1, on his relationship with OSU head football coach Mike Gundy.
Pickens’ statement was in response to his own comments about Gundy to the Austin American-Statesman earlier in the week, saying
“I don’t have any conversations with Gundy,” he said.
He went on to say, ” Mike doesn’t handle people relationships very well. And he gets mad about things. I’ve heard he’s written some notes about me that weren’t very complimentary.”
Here is Pickens’ complete statement issued on Saturday:
“For more than a decade I have worked to make all aspects of Oklahoma State University better, academically and in its athletics, and we have made great strides in both. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and what more we can accomplish.”
“But let me clear the air on some recent comments regarding Coach Mike Gundy. I’m 88 years old. My competitive spirits have not diminished. When I made my first major gift, I expected that we would become competitive, and that we would one day win a national championship. If nothing else, age has made me more focused and anxious to achieve that goal.
“Mike Gundy has accomplished a lot at Oklahoma State. I recommended him for the head coaching position. I was one of his — and the school’s — staunchest defenders during the Sports Illustrated attack on our university. But the reality is I have a full-time job at BP Capital. I have not placed a call to Mike Gundy in years. It’s his program to run, not mine.
“Coach Gundy and I are united in the belief that the school is bigger than both of us. I wish Coach Gundy well. I am proud of our football team. I remain the school’s number one fan. I do not intend to talk about our relationship publicly going forward.
“Cowboy fans, let’s fill up the stadium on Saturday and beat the Longhorns.”
Pickens’ donations to the OSU athletic department have funded much of the facility upgrades, and the football stadium bears his name.