Andrew Luck's Decision to Return To Stanford Is a Dumb Move

Earnest HarrisContributor IJanuary 6, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03: Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Stanford won 40-12. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Andrew Luck’s decision to remain at Stanford for another football season has to be one of the stupidest decisions such a supposedly smart guy can make. 

The Orange Bowl-winning Cardinal quarterback, fresh off his outstanding performance against Virginia Tech, was projected to be the No. 1 selection in the next NFL draft. By electing to stay in school he is giving up approximately $30 million, which is what he was likely to get with that selection. 

That’s a lot of money to walk away from. And that makes absolutely no sense.

Reports are that Luck decided to return to school so that he could graduate next spring and leave with the class he came in with. 

And that’s worth $30 million?

I know the argument is that, with another year under his belt, a chance at a national titleconsidering Stanford has a lot of this year’s fourth-ranked team coming backand possibly even a Heisman next year, he might command even more in 2012.

But college football is a dangerous sport, and it is very hard to predict what will happen from year to year. One key injury and all that money could be forever lost. And for what? A chance to stay in college and graduate next year?

The smart thing would be to take the money while you are guaranteed to be the hot thing and while you are going out on top. Stanford University is not going anywhere, so he can go back any time in the future to complete his degree if it is that important to him.

Throw in the very real likelihood that his coach, Jim Harbaugh, seems destined to be leaving for bigger money and an opportunity in the pros and you have the added uncertainty of a new coach and the possible changes that could bring.

Andrew Luck seems like a smart kid, but passing up incredible money and a chance to go play at the highest level while you are at the top of your game is beyond me. One more year does not guarantee health, or even a better statistical year. 

Maybe Luck isn’t as smart as we thought.