Death Bets Leave Oklahoma State University $33 Million in the Hole

Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University

A major fumble on the life insurance gridiron has cost the Oklahoma State Cowboys $33 million. As Forbes reports, the OSU athletic department's attempt to bet on the deaths of 27 geriatric boosters with $10 million life insurance policies backfired when not one died.

Talk about a Hail Mary gone wrong.

Obviously, the way the scenario played out was less than a blessing for OSU. The "Gift of a Lifetime" fundraiser plan was allegedly the brain-child of OSU alum and tycoon T. Boone Pickens. By cashing in on the life insurance policies following the death of the 65- to 85-year-olds, OSU expected to rake in as much as $350 million.

Instead, the athletics department was forced to resort to a legal maneuver in an attempt to recover some of the $33 million it paid in premiums on the policies. But Forbes reports that a U.S. district judge sided with the life insurance company, this week -- noting that the premiums paid on the policies were made legally.

The OSU athletic department, which netted $14.4 million last year according to Forbes, relies on its football profits to fund other, non-revenue-generating sports programs. This unsuccessful play-action may force the school's head honchos to seek a plum check from Uncle Boone.