Greetings from 'The Boone'

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
2:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin


STILLWATER, Okla. -- Give Boone Pickens credit for one thing. His money has helped build a heck of a football stadium.

At one time, old Lewis Field was one of the worst football facilities in major college football. I always got the idea I was visiting something that was built by an erector set back in the old days.

But Pickens' gifts to his alma mater, estimated at $458 million, has changed things around here in a big way. The renovated football stadium is the most obvious and noteworthy sign of his benevolence.

Mike Gundy and his staff work in an airy football facility that looks nothing liked the cramped, dingy dungeons where Jimmy Johnson and Pat Jones once toiled when coaching here.

The stadium, expanded to 60,000, will be dedicated to the Cowboys' megabuck booster shortly before kickoff. The facility has all of the bells and whistles of the finest college stadiums across the country.

Pickens originally attended Texas A&M, where he hoped to become an athlete.

"Fortunately for us," Gundy said. "A&M didn't think he was a basketball player."

The Aggies' loss has been the Cowboys' gain ever since then.

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