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Okla. St. hopes investing with alum Pickens will help athletic expansion

STILLWATER, Okla. -- 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 December.

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."