Blue Gold Sports

Update to Power Struggle for Oliver Luck

The article we published yesterday regarding Oliver Luck, Texas, and Fox Sports garnered a huge response. With that response came many questions that we have done our best to get answers to. Below is a Q&A type format that will hopefully answer some of those questions to the best of our ability.

Is Oliver Luck the top candidate at Texas? We are told that Bill Powers has preferred Bob Bowlsby, current Big 12 commissioner, to take Dodds place next August. However, we are also told by sources within UT that boosters are looking for a business oriented person to take the position. Oliver Luck has informally spoken to numerous officials and donors at the University of Texas. We are told that he has been political with his approach to the AD position and has made promises in an attempt to gain support. Without getting into too much detail some of those promises revolve around the Longhorn Network, Fox Sports, and the coaching situation at UT.

Has Luck officially interviewed? No there have been no official interviews. However, informer inquiries have been made to specific candidates. Just recently Texas put together a panel to help aid in the search for Dodds replacement. Official interviews have yet to be schedule but it has not stopped many from gauging interest and lobbying for the opening.

What was the premise surrounding UCF? We are told, quite frankly, that Oliver Luck has made no promises to UCF. There are high level donors at the University of Texas that have a vested interest in Fox and it’s contract with the Big 12. There has been an underlying desire by the network to expand into Florida among other states. There is argument as to how those demographics would benefit the Big 12 in terms of financial revenue and a conference championship game. It is unknown to how the Big 12 would benefit from expanding into those demographics. Regardless, we are told that Luck has been in contact with UCF although the timeframe seems to be muddy.

Can Oliver Luck be the catalyst behind expansion from UT? This argument would not truly be known until the opportunity presented itself. It is widely believed that Dodds and Texas were the driving force behind the Big 12 not expanding. Luck has always been a proponent of expansion, especially in the eastern time zone. There will be the obstacles of a conference championship game, and possible divisions that would negate a round robin schedule. Whether or not Luck can accomplish expansion from the AD office at Texas as opposed to the AD office at WVU is unknown. However, there are those that believe Luck at Texas is a powerful combination.

When will we know about Luck’s future? It is widely speculated that the University of Texas would like to have a replacement for Dodds by the end of the year. One reason for this timeframe is the pending coaching situation at UT. There are potential candidates that have surfaced but the future AD would play a large role in who would be selected as new head coach.

Has WVU reached out to any potential replacements for Luck? There have been informal discussions with at least two candidates to replace Luck if he were to leave. The two names mentioned are Rob Mullens, current AD at University of Oregon and WV native, and Whit Babcock, current AD at the University of Cincinnati and former assistant AD at WVU. It is unclear which WVU would prefer but we are told both have interest in the pending position.

If Luck leaves how soon will he be replaced? We are told that if Luck leaves WVU will immediately appoint an interm AD. At that time official interviews will take place and a new AD would be announced in the coming months.

What does this mean for Dana? In the immediate future this means nothing for Dana. Holgorsen will remain head coach at WVU at least through next season. Luck has gone on record as saying that coaching decisions are made on a season by season basis and any pending decisions would be addressed at the end of the season. Obviously with Luck being targeted by UT he may not be here by the end of the season to make any decisions on the football staff.

Why are we hearing nothing from Luck or WVU? It is not how Luck does business. This is essentially a personal decision by Luck and WVU will be reactive to the situation. Clements has already taken the necessary precautions for when/if Luck leaves. WVU will make no official statement until there has been a decision made.

The majority of this information has come from those surrounding the University of Texas. WVU has remained silent on this situation and is not expected to make any type of formal comment until the situation dictates.



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