- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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When you hear "$4 million locker room," you probably think: "Neato!" Or you think, "Man, $4 million for a locker room? That seems grossly unnecessary!" After this "MTV Cribs"-style tour of Oklahoma State's recently finished basketball locker room facilities, it's safe to say both reactions are valid.
Those facilities were privately funded -- which, in OSU Cowboys-land, roughly translates to "T. Boone Pickens" -- so there's no complaint about taxpayer money to be had here. (Which, given the state's struggles to fund current education measures, is undoubtedly a good thing).
The locker room comes complete with OSU logo bathrobes, which you can see gracing the bodies of Cowboys freshmen and video tour leaders Mike Cobbins, Brian Williams and Markel Brown. There's also height-sensitive hair dryers, marble staircases, illuminated locker-room nameplates, a lounge that looks like over-the-top nice mod-themed Las Vegas nightclub, some weird orange plating on the walls, and flat screen televisions in every nook and cranny available. Which means it's exactly what you thought it would be when you heard the words "$4 million locker room." It's really, really nice. It's also really, really silly.
The Cowboys aren't the best example here -- Pickens makes them a bit of an outlier in the college hoops world -- but the new locker room is also emblematic of the modern arms race in college hoops. Facilities are as big a part of recruiting as anything else, and having the newest, most advanced, poshest accommodations for your players is as important to prospects as having a winning tradition and a charismatic coach.
In that case, consider Oklahoma State the USSR of the college hoops facilities war. Meanwhile, Pickens and company are still building. Your move ... everyone.
(Hat tip: The Dagger)