For Oliver Luck, It’s All Upside To Try To Save The Pac-4

By 750 The Game Staff

John Canzano reported Friday that the four remaining schools in the Pac-12 Conference have hired Oliver Luck as a consultant. The former NFL quarterback and sports business professional could be a key figure in salvaging the conference of champions.

The ACC voted Friday on whether or not to invite Stanford and Cal into the conference. 12 of 15 schools needed to vote ‘yes’ for it to pass. But Stanford and Cal fell one vote short. The Bay Area schools remain in limbo, for now.

Oregon State University president Jayathi Murthy came out on Friday after with a statement that pledged allegiance to keeping the “Pac-4” together and trying to rebuild the Pac-12 Conference.

Enter, Oliver Luck.

“I think they are not looking to George Kliavkoff for the solutions, they’re looking to Oliver Luck,” Canzano said on Friday’s radio show of the presidents of the remaining Pac-4 schools. “They’re saying, hey, you’re the guy. We’re going to hand you the keys.”

Canzano dug deeper to find out more about what makes Luck an intriguing hire for the conference.

“I talked to an industry source this morning. And I said, tell me about Oliver Luck. What he’s done, what he’s been around.

“He’s a guy who has worked at the NCAA. Lives in Indianapolis. He’s a guy who has been the athletic director at West Virginia. He worked in Houston as part of the sports authority in Houston, basically at the ‘Sport Oregon’ of Houston. He has consulted with the Big 12 and a bunch of individual schools. He’s a smart guy, he’s done a lot, he was commissioner of the XFL. You may remember Vince McMahon and the XFL – Oliver Luck sued Vince McMahon and sued the XFL and won a settlement over his firing.”

Football fans know Luck’s name, if not only for the fact that his son, Andrew, a former two-time finalist for the Heisman Trophy and the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Andrew was one of three Luck children to attend Stanford, with another sibling attending Yale.

It’s a smart family.

But Canzano says it’s one thing to be smart, it’s another to be an effective leader for a desperate conference.

“I asked the industry source what are Luck’s big success stories,” Canzano said. “And a lot of them are behind the scenes things. Everyone knows he’s smart. Everyone knows he’s connected.

“The possible role of commissioner of the Pac-Whatever could be a good landing spot for Oliver Luck.”

After all, what’s the downside for Luck to take the bat for a league down to its final out?

“It’s all upside,” Canzano said of the Luck opportunity with the conference. “If you’re Oliver Luck, you’re looking over at the Pac-12 going, I can do no wrong here. Either I become the salvation of this conference and I save it and I become the commissioner, and I become a guy who everybody in college football goes, Look at Oliver Luck, he not only rebuilt that thing, it’s thriving, it’s become a power five, there’s a lot of upside potentially for Oliver Luck.”

Canzano even recently spoke to Luck.

“I got on the phone with Oliver Luck this week and asked him – hey, are you consulting with the four schools? And he says, I’m not going to say anything. And I talked a little bit about the Pac-12 with him but he was really close to the vest, he wouldn’t really say anything, and I left that conversation thinking, he’s definitely working for the Pac-12.

“Then I went back and I checked with two different schools in the Pac-12 who confirmed it for me and said, yes all four of us have hired him and he’s working on behalf of everybody, and this is how it’s going. I just think it’s really interesting.”

Will it be enough to save the Pac-12 and keep alive 108 years and running of collegiate sport history? The conference is lucky to still have a pulse, but Oliver Luck could give it a thriving heartbeat once again.

Listen to Canzano’s full comments on Oliver Luck being hired as a consultant for the remaining four schools in the Pac-12 Conference at the top of the show and again at the 26:00 mark of the podcast below.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.