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Growth of Big 12 evident in facilities boom

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ There's a building boom going on in athletic facilities across the Big 12 Conference.

Missouri has a 16 (m) million dollar expansion of its training complex under way and Iowa State has a 135 (m) million dollar plan to close in the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium. Also, the I-S-U basketball arena will be renovated while a complex for tennis, track, softball and baseball is called for as well as upgrades to the student recreation center.

Kansas is getting a 31 (m) million dollar office complex and Kansas State spent nearly six (m) million to upgrade its sports complex with video and message boards and new turf for the football indoor practice field.

Texas Tech is considering expanding its football stadium by eight- to ten-thousand seats and Texas is spending 150 (m) million on a huge video board and renovation and expansion of Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma just installed a new turf practice field and is upgrading Memorial Stadium for 12 (m) million dollars.

And the largest project may be at Oklahoma State where there are plans for an athletic village with 30 (m) million dollars each for a new baseball stadium and a new soccer-track complex and 15 (m) million for new tennis facilities.

That's on top of 120 (m) million being spent to close the west end zone at Boone Pickens Stadium and build new football facilities plus 50 (m) million for an indoor practice complex.

Coaches and athletic officials say the upgrades are necessary to attract recruits and remain competitive.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says if a recruit doesn't say ``Wow'' when looking at the facilities _ then it's not good enough.


Hornets extend contracts of GM, assistant coaches

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Hornets today announced the extension of the contracts of General Manager Jeff Bower and three assistant coaches.

Bower's contract now runs through 20-11. He's been with the Hornets since 1995 as an advance scout, director of scouting and assistant general manager before being promoted to G-M in 2006.

The Hornets also announced that coaches Darrell Walker, Kenny Gattison and David Miller will return as assistants to head coach Byron Scott.

Scott was given a three-year contract extension in June.

Terms of the contracts were not released.

The Hornets will play 35 games in Oklahoma City this season as New Orleans continues to recover from hurricane damage.

Officials say the team is to return to New Orleans beginning next season.
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