WVU’s Luck has full plate
MORGANTOWN – Imagine you are the Director of Athletics at an NCAA Division I school with dozens of teams and hundreds of athletes depending on your every decision.
On top of all that, you are the father of a starting quarterback in the National Football League.
As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, you are asked to become a member of a new committee whose job it will be to select the four participants that will compete in the inaugural College Football Playoff series at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season.
That’s the situation WVU’s Oliver Luck finds himself in as the former Mountaineer starting quarterback heads to the Coliseum each day.
“It does make for a really busy work day,” Luck said. “But it (being selected to the committee) is something that I am very honored to do.”
Luck, who took over the reins of the Mountaineers’ athletic programs following the retirement of Eddie Pastilong in 2010, is one of 13 individuals selected to the committee.
Five of those members represent the five “power conferences” – Luck (Big 12), Barry Alvarez (Big Ten), Pat Haden (Pac-12), Dan Radakovich (ACC) and Jeff Long (SEC), who will chair the group.
The remainder of the committee will be made up of Lt. General Michael Gould, Tom Jernstedt, Archie Manning, Tom Osborne, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Tranghese, Steve Wieberg and Tyrone Willingham.
Each member provides a unique background to the committee, but one which Luck believes will allow the group to accomplish its misson -to bring the four best college football teams in the FBS into a playoff format to determine a national champion.
“I played football against and with some of those guys,” continued Luck. “Each of them have unbelievable resumes that should help us accomplish the task that has been placed before us.”
Luck’s own resume isn’t anything at which to laugh.
The Cleveland native and former Rhodes Scholar finalist was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1984 after a standout senior season in Morgantown. Following his time as a professional quarterback, Luck was named vice president of business development for the NFL, then became president of NFL Europe.
Later, WVU’s newest Director of Athletics became the first president of the Houston Dynamo of the MLS.
“I have had an opportunity to be part of some unique experiences and have benefited from each experience,” said Luck. “What we (the committee) must do now is share the experiences we have had and use them to help us in the selection process.”
A process that will begin with the committee’s first Top 25.
“Right now, we are slated to put out our first Top 25 around Oct. 27. The plan is for us to meet for two days to pick that first list.”
A difficult task at best, an unenviable one at worst.
“I feel confident that the committee can do the job. We are all fans of college football and all of us are interested in getting the selection right.”
But don’t look for the group to make any changes in the very near future.
“Four is a good number for now,” said Luck. “Let’s see how it works for two or three years. After that, we will see.
“You have to remember, these are still student/athletes. December is a very tough month on them. Studying for finals, getting ready for a bowl game and trying to find time to be with family over the holidays.”