The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 16, 2011

Luck ‘absolutely thrilled’ to be at WVU

FAIRMONT — West Virginia University athletic director Oliver Luck spoke here Thursday and gave comforting words to those in the civic club audience that he had no desire to be the commissioner of the Big 12 Conference that his school would soon be joining.

“I love West Virginia University,” Luck said. ”It’s a great job. I love state scholarship grants that turn a coal miner’s daughter into a teacher.”

Luck is in his second year as WVU’s director of athletics.

“I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater here as athletic director,” he said.

“I’m known in most places as Andrew’s Dad,” he added, referring to his son who was a runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting less that a week previously as a quarterback at Stanford.

The plus one playoff

There’s a lot of support right now for what people are calling the plus-one playoff in football, which is basically a four-team playoff.

“As we look at our business, I do think that people realize that there has to be a little bit better way of doing this.”

He said the reason bowls were started was to get people living in the North down south.

“Not too many people lived down South then,” Luck said. “The bowl games were never intended to be a playoff.”

He said most players would rather get right back into it and to play now than to wait several weeks between games.

 “There’s a lot of pressure right now for a four-team playoff,” he said. “This year you would have Stanford play LSU and Alabama play Oklahoma State. The winners of those two games would play a title game.”

Who should play for the championship this season?

“It’s difficult to argue with LSU being in the national championship game. I would probably have preferred having Oklahoma State facing LSU. It’s kind of the American way. Alabama had their chance. They didn’t do it. Now let’s give someone else a chance.

Luck said he is telling his coaches to prepare “as if you’re going to be in the Big 12 next year. We’re focused on playing Big 12 schedules,” he said.

Rumors are Rich Rodriguez would like to have Jeff Casteel as his defensive coordinator out in Arizona, Luck said. “I don’t know whether that’s true or not. Jeff’s under contract here.”

He said Castell turned down Rodriguez when he went to Michigan and implied it could happen again.

“Jeff can do what he wants, but we certainly would like to have him here next year. I think he likes the university, and the university likes him.”

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