West Virginia Football: Oliver Luck's Foresight Could Equal Revenue

Jeff WoollardCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2011

Athletic Director Oliver Luck
Athletic Director Oliver Luck

Regardless what side of the NFL lockout debate you find yourself on, if it continues into the season, college football teams could become the biggest winner, both in terms of attendance and revenue.

As a football fan in general, what is more attractive, watching a college football game or an NFL game with replacement players? Worse yet, no professional football games at all?

Even a reduced NFL season would deflect attendance and revenue to college football. Additionally, it may not be easy to get those fans back to the NFL games once play resumed.

The NFL owners and players may end up doing for college football what college football could not do on its own, become the top dog of American football.

For teams like West Virginia University and others, there are no professional football teams in their state. How could those teams position themselves to benefit from the potential windfall?

Enter athletic director Oliver Luck and his decision to hire Dana Holgorsen as offensive coordinator for 2011, and add the title of head coach in waiting for 2012.

Luck’s decision to hire one of the most exciting offensive gurus in college football set his plan in motion.

To this point, most of the attention has been on the dynamics the decision had on the coaching staff and its day-to-day interaction. Also, on how it could or would affect the play of the team on the field.

Lest fans forget, Luck once presided over NFL Europe; as such, he was a part of NFL senior management. As an ex-NFL quarterback for the Houston Oilers, Luck is also an ex-player.

Both provide Luck with a unique perspective regarding the lockout from both sides. As a current outsider, neither side would consider Luck an adversary. Could Luck possess information that is not readily available to outsiders?

With spring practice set to start on Wednesday, March 30, it is time to recognize Luck may have seen an opportunity and did his utmost to place his football team in the spotlight, enabling his university to grab a slice of the potential revenue pie.

Add increased interest and exposure from the television networks to the equation and Leonardo DiCaprio will not be the only person purchasing WVU merchandise, another avenue of increased revenue potential.

Apply the old adage, “Everything happens for a reason” and Luck’s decisions may become profound.

Recently, there was uproar in Mountaineer Nation regarding a reference Holgorsen made concerning the need for continued improvement of the football facilities in Morgantown. Many fans felt that Holgorsen’s remarks were out of line and not well thought out.

In reality, Holgorsen may have been way ahead of the curve, along with Luck. Not only have they evaluated the needs surrounding the football infrastructure, they may have devised a revenue plan to pay for those needs.

For years, Mountaineer fans have been screaming for the university to become more progressive in its decision-making process. Oliver Luck has apparently been listening.

Luck is changing the landscape of WVU sports. Rest assured the increased demands Luck is placing on the athletic department, he is applying to his own position first.

Even if Luck’s decision to hire Holgorsen had nothing to do with the NFL lockout, it has certainly placed the football team in the best position possible to take advantage of the potential windfall.

The next time a WVU fan attends a 3-D movie, they may not want to put those glasses in the provided receptacles outside the theatre. Instead, keep them; you may need them to understand what is really going on in Morgantown.

If Luck has his way, those glasses may not be enough.