When it comes to boosters, T. Boone Pickens and Phil Knight are like LeBron and Kobe: There's them - and then there's everybody else.

T. Boone once donated $165 mil to Oklahoma State and had people talking about him offering Bill Self $10M a year to lure him to Stillwater.

Knight, on the other hand, is like an evil dictator - eliminating anyone who gets in his way (as detailed here) and destroying college athletics one horrible uniform at a time.

But like Paul Pierce, Stephen M. Ross has been hiding in the cut and is now laying his claim to the throne.

If you haven't noticed, the real estate billionaire has thrown down some serious coin on his alma mater lately (FYI, he's best known for developing NYC's Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, which leaves his net worth just a tad short of our blog's).


- He donated $100 million dollars to the B-School in 2004 just to have them knock the whole thing down, build it back up and rename it after him. Just a thought, but maybe some of that money could have gone to a more important cause - like the Frieze Building. It is the largest gift in school history.

- Spent another $5 mil to have the athletes' academic center named after him. Only 5 mil, Stevie Wonder? That's chump change.

- Dropped another $5 mil for the Michigan Stadium expansion. How many luxury boxes do you think 5 million dollars gets you? And that doesn't even include the cost of his private helipad atop the new press box!

- Was the co-chair of The Michigan Difference, a $2.5 billion fund-raising campaign by UM that just-so-happened to reach its goal in May 2007, 19 months before deadline. Wonder how that happened...

- Serves as part of the "Director's Cabinet" in the Athletic Department. In other words, he's Bill Martin's Sugar Daddy. Hey, what exactly does Bill Martin need a cabinet for again?

- Bought 50% of his childhood team, the Miami Dolphins, for $550 million in February. The Michigan Business School and the Miami Dolphins. Can you piss your money away on two more worse things? Oh and he drafts Jake Long and Chad Henne to be the building blocks of his franchise. Just imagine the Miami War Room when Mike Hart went to the Colts: "Parcells, you son of a bitch! This franchise is ruined! Ruined, I tell you!!!!!!"

We're going out on a limb and saying Stevie chipped into the Dick Rod buyout fund as well.

So yeah, he's been pretty good to us. And if he's getting old and wants to leave his legacy by getting every building on campus named after him, more power to him.

Who knows what he's got in mind next. Our guess? Two words: Ross Arena.

Editor's Note: The Realests will be out of town starting Thursday, so you'll have to head elsewhere for all the latest Brett Favre news!

1 comment:

Forest said...

I had to interview the guy for a Daily article on famous alumni a year or two ago.

I was really surprised how deep his voice was.