The scoop of the day (well, the morning, at least) came from Charleston Daily Mail writer Mike Casazza tweeted that West Virginia Oliver Luck is leaving the department to take a position with the NCAA. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy followed up with his own report shortly thereafter. While it isn’t confirmed what position exactly Luck is taking, those in the know have presumed Luck is taking the No. 2 spot in the organization, working directly under president Mark Emmert. Longtime COO Jim Isch announced in August he would retire early next year.
Update: The hire has now been announced by the NCAA, to a new position entitled vice president of regulatory affairs. In the NCAA’s words, Luck will bring academic and membership affairs, the Eligibility Center and enforcement under one roof.
A few quick reactions to this hire:
1. Nabbing Luck is a stabilizing move to the NCAA, a group that desperately needs a dose stability and credibility. Luck is one of the most widely-respected administrators in the industry. At a time when the entire business model is in flux and athletics directors are requesting a larger voice in the process, having one of their own in senior leadership has to be a good thing for all of college athletics.
2. Luck was a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee this fall. Presumably, he will step down from that post once his change of address becomes official. The Big 12 will now get to choose among its nine remaining athletics directors to replace Luck. Texas Tech athletics director, and Kansas State former all-conference linebacker, Kirby Hocutt feels like a smart choice from where I sit.
3. With Luck moving on, this guy now has a major athletics hire to make.