Going all in.
It's a favorite move of many Texas hold 'em players, who are willing to risk their entire stake on one bold and swift action.
I don't know if West Virginia University athletics director Oliver Luck plays poker, but six months after being hired to run the athletics department, he has gone all in.
He essentially has fired the football coach with the best winning percentage in WVU history, Bill Stewart, and eventually will replace him with Dana Holgorsen, the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, a man who has no head coaching experience or ties to the Mountain State.
We knew when Luck was hired on June 9, WVU had itself a mover and a shaker.
But even those of us familiar with Luck didn't know how fast he was going to move or how much he was going to shake up the athletics department.
During a Thursday press conference, Luck said he didn't believe Stewart was the man to lead West Virginia to a national championship, a statement with which a huge majority of Mountaineer fans would agree. Stewart has more than his share of critics, and even those who find it difficult to criticize the head coach billed as the nicest guy in college sports are skeptical of his leadership skills.
It was pleasing to hear a WVU athletics director talk about a national championship, which should always be the goal of a school that makes West Virginia's commitment to football. But is using that as a standard fair, considering WVU has had 32 football coaches since fielding its first team in 1891 and still is waiting to celebrate its first national championship?
Luck also cited WVU's inability to fill the seats at Mountaineer Field. Indeed, fan support hasn't been stellar. One certainly can blame that on the lack of faith and interest in the school's fan base. But perhaps the problem is more complex.
WVU has consistently asked its season ticketholders for more money. Many have been priced out of the market, especially as West Virginia's economy has suffered.
Plus, the quality of teams visiting Morgantown hasn't been all that attractive and the number of midweek night games - the way of life in the Big East Conference -also has contributed to dwindling attendance.
Lest we forget, Luck must manage WVU's athletic budget.
A budget that depends on football more than any sport for its revenue base. As the CEO, it is right and for that matter his duty to evaluate each of the school's programs and make changes he believes will most benefit the university.
Yet, his decisive action has sent shockwaves around the Mountain State, dividing Mountaineer fans into two camps.
After all, Don Nehlen, whose winning percentage ranks just behind Stewart, was given 21 seasons as the head football coach without the hint of ever being replaced by his superiors.
WVU was the only major university in America to go through the 1980s and 1990s without making a change in either the head football or men's basketball coaching positions as Nehlen and Gale Catlett became fixtures in Morgantown, as did athletics director Ed Pastilong, who took over in 1989 and spent more than 20 years at the helm.
Perhaps that is what makes Luck's move seem so dramatic. Change has come to WVU sports, where stability was the norm. Many fear change, viewing it as turmoil.
Plus, West Virginia has made a habit of hiring those with Mountain State or WVU ties. Pastilong. Catlett. Stewart. Bob Huggins. Mike Carey. Rich Rodriguez. Luck himself. Familiar faces, household names. Mountaineers doing Mountaineer business.
So as his first major hire, Luck brings in an assistant coach with no ties to the state. Even with Holgorsen's impressive credentials, it has been a tough sell.
Knowledgeable sports fans realize there is a huge difference between being an assistant coach responsible for one aspect of the game and being a head coach to whom more than 100 players and a dozen coaches are looking to every day for leadership. Some assistants can make the transition look easy, others simply are great assistants but can't cut it as being the man in charge.
Luck did his best to make the necessary contacts behind the scenes, but he quickly found out he cannot operate in a vacuum and that word is going to leak out. Luck also learned that until he or some other official is ready to speak, the rumors take on a life of their own.
As I wrote on Nov. 7, the Stewart situation was a difficult one. That while many fans believed the football program was declining under Stewart, what message would it send to potential replacements if nine wins a season wasn't enough to maintain job security. Especially at a school that is a developmental university located in a state that doesn't produce more than a handful of Division 1 recruits on an annual basis.
I said at the time, I didn't have to have the answers, that Oliver Luck did.
Now, he has made his move. He has gone all in.
The success of West Virginia's athletic future and Luck's role in that future will be determined by what has to be the most bold move in the history of Mountaineer sports.
Yet, the answer won't come nearly as swiftly.
Holgorsen must be given time, likely more than the three seasons Stewart was granted.
If not, then this will be become a revolving door program without stability and that certainly is no recipe for that national championship both Luck and Mountaineer fans are waiting to celebrate.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org