MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, after indicating to MetroNews he had no intentions of talking with Texas about its soon-to-be-vacant athletics director position, subsequently clarified Tuesday afternoon he had no comment on the situation.

MetroNews file photo

WVU athletics director Oliver Luck told MetroNews he had no comment on the possibility of replacing DeLoss Dodds at Texas.

DeLoss Dodds, UT’s athletics director since 1981, announced Tuesday his plan to retire in August 2014, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman. That story quoted an unnamed source who identified Luck as a candidate “to keep an eye on.”

In a text message exchange with MetroNews’ Hoppy Kercheval, Luck initially replied “No” when asked whether he would speak with Texas about the AD job if contacted.

Then, within a half-hour of that proclamation appearing on the website, Luck sent a follow-up text that read: “My no was to say that I am not making any comments.”

Texas represents the richest athletics program in the nation, and Dodds’ successor instantly becomes a heavyweight influence on all matters Big 12-related and the continuing shifts of college football realignment. The new athletics director also inherits the onus of reshaping the department’s coaching tree with Mack Brown, Augie Garrido and, to a lesser extent, Rick Barnes on tenuous ground.

Luck’s ties to Texas run deep, considering he followed his undergrad days at WVU by earning a law degree from UT in 1987. He later served four years as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, overseeing a pro-franchise facilities boom that included the opening of the NFL’s Reliant Stadium in 2002 and the NBA’s Toyota Center in 2003.

From 2005 until becoming West Virginia’s athletics director in June 2010, Luck was president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, helping secure funding for the team’s 22,039-seat BBVA Compass Stadium that opened in 2012.

Luck’s current contract at WVU runs through 2017 and guarantees him $550,000 annually with a performance bonus up to $150,000 per year.

Along with shepherding West Virginia into the Big 12, Luck’s tenure as AD has been marked by ambitious moves—such as hiring football coach Dana Holgorsen to replace Bill Stewart after three consecutive nine-win seasons, and implementing a basketball reseating initiative at the WVU Coliseum to drive up revenue.

Luck also played a key role in the university outsourcing its third-tier media rights to IMG College for $86 million over the next 12 years, a contract estimated to net about $2 million annually over what WVU previously earned by handling the rights in-house. However, following a review by attorney general Patrick Morrisey, WVU president Jim Clements removed Luck from the final round of bidding for those media rights after the AD was found to have shared confidential vendor information with WVU board of governors members who had a financial stake in subcontracting work for IMG.

The fallout from that misstep has spawned a lawsuit from West Virginia Radio Corp.—the parent company of MetroNews—that names Luck, Clements and eight other defendants. Both parties agreed this week to transfer the case to the state’s business court.

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  • Robert

    WVU has much deeper problems than Luck leaving WVU if indeed this does happen. We continually trip over our (pecker) by making bad decisions, not saying that Luck was one of them. For some reason, except for Luck, our AD has always thought small. Luck was bound and determined to bring us to the big time getting us into the Big 12 and without his connections that would never have happened. However, getting a top tier head coach, didn't happen. He decided to go with an offensive coordinator that has proved himself as that, and only that. It now has been proven that he is not of the mentality of a head coach. Nothing is his fault. However, obtaining top assistants, recruiting the right players, is what ends up as being your resume. Yes WVU, we have many more issues to fix than Oliver Luck leaving. Just to let you know, I am not a newcomer. My first WVU game was 1948.

  • Byron

    Have a question for FungoJoe are their any casinos in Texas. That could be part of the answer for anyone to wonder if the football coach would go to Texas.

  • Byron

    What does it matter if Luck leaves or stays. When the next great AD is hired and he or she will at some point in time. You all can start your name calling all over again or you will be so happy about the next great AD. Plus the next great coach will be hired again and it also starts all over again.

  • Phys Ed

    Oliver Luck will not leave for Texas. He has political aspirations and WV is the perfect place to make it happen. Just ask Jay Rockefeller about that.

  • FungoJoe

    I got a kick out of reading the comments on the Austin Statesman about Luck. Most UT fans are accepting of Luck. However, if you mention that he might bring Holgorsen with him, those same UT fans go berserk. Texans know all about Holgorsen. Texans do not like Holgorsen at all for some reason. Their feeling is if Luck wants to bring Holgorsen to UT, then maybe Luck should stay at WVU. That speaks volumes and volumes on Luck and Holgorsen. Luck sold us a pig in the poke on Holgorsen. You can put lipstick on Holgorsen, but he is still just a pig.

  • Daniel

    He's a goner! Money talks, bs walks! To much of the latter in WV for him to stick around long. He could (and should) be compared to the guy a CEO of a major corporation hires to come in, down-size, increase profits for those deemed "worthy," and moves on. On a side note: when is the last time WVU Football has had a perfect record during the regular season? Remember the guy that coached them? Yea, that guy (Nehlen). Everyone ran him out of town when he had a few down seasons! Then came along "Rod the Fraud." Same AD (Pastilong) tried to screw him to, along with Coach Belien. Along comes OL and sees the hiring of Coach Huggins (one of the greatest in NCAA) and hires a great offensive-minded coach in Holgerson to rebuild and reload what coach(?) Stewart left in shambles. Exactly what do you people want? All this crap rolls down hill when it comes to recruitments committing and performances you expect every season! If you can do a better job, get off your lazy-boy recliners, out of your mother's basement and do something better! Wow, you are a tough crowd to please!

    • Charleston,WV

      Well stated..... But:
      OL didn't hire Huggins, it was EP.
      Also, You have it backwards with the first part:
      B.S. talks, and money walks.

  • Jerry

    Oliver Luck is the greatest AD WVU ever had. He is a former Mountaineer quarterback who went to the NFL and played 6 seasons with the Houston Oilers. That's where his Texas connections got started, not in law school. He started law school while he was still in the NFL because he is smart as well as athletic. He originally hails from the Cleveland area. I saw Ollie play for the Mountaineers and hope he stays with us for many more years to come. Yes, UT can pay him a bunch more money. But we love Ollie because he's one of us. I hope he sticks with WVU. He has nothing more to prove to anyone. His professional accomplishments are known all over the world.

  • terry mays

    if he leaves, hes a .....

  • terry mays

    knowone wants too stay, and see this school go to the next level..sad really. those that could, and would. are gone...he is to. are there anyone that will stick with this school. and make it what it should be?..i guess not.

  • cutty77

    As for all you Einstiens on how Bad Oliver Luck is at being WVU AD. He has been picked to be on the New Bowl Committee for picking the Teams to play for the New Bowl Set Up,beginning in 2014. I've said many times we have some the Dumbest People that comment on this site. Cutty77 not included.lol Where you at OhMy Little Buddy. Ha,Ha

  • Larry

    Call me crazy, but I really don't remember any famous AD's, the coaches are what's important. Until DeLoss annouced his retirement, how many had ever heard of him, he's been the AD there since the 80's and they have been good, won a national championship, but they have also been average a lot, the AD position is overrated.

  • john c

    i think if luck leaves when need a 15 foot tall statue of him at the entrance to the stadium and everyone has to bow to it when they pass lol

  • Tim C

    If Texas offers Luck.............Color him gone. I hope he stays but we will never be able to keep him when the big boys come calling.

  • Carmen

    All one has to do is read the level of intelligence of these comments, to understand why Ollie will be in Austin soon.

  • Sammy

    Goodbye Mr. Luck. Don't let the door hit ya!