PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – One year after West Virginia’s move to the Big 12, Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck talked to Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’s Troy Clardy in a wide-ranging interview.
“We’re delighted to be a member of the Big 12,” Luck says. “We’re all looking for stability, and that has a lot of different levels, including financial stability. So we’re delighted with our decision. It was a first year for us which meant a learning year. You’re getting used to new places, new styles of play, new referees, new travel. But overall, we couldn’t be happier with our affiliation with the conference.”
West Virginia’s Olympic sports mostly struggled in their first year in the Big 12, and Luck admits that was an eye opener.
“I think in the Olympic sports, we’ve probably seen the biggest gap from where we want to be to where we are,” Luck says. “Historically, our football and men’s basketball programs have been pretty good. Where we probably didn’t invest a lot of our resources historically was in many of the Olympic sports. With our first-year performance in the Big 12, as we looked at where we were, we realized we’ve got a long way to go.”
Luck also discusses how the football program is approaching its non-conference scheduling, and adds, “I feel very confident that at some point–it may not be this decade–we’ll figure out a way to get the Backyard Brawl back on the schedule. I’m sure as we go into the next five or six years, people will really miss the game. Hell, I already miss it.”
Luck also discusses the effect West Virginia’s travel situation had on the Mountaineers, and where that can get better. He also shares the advice he would give to other schools that are switching into different conferences. Listen to the entire interview below!