"The fact is, golf is cheap,'' Luck said. "I think the NCAA scholarship limit is 4.8. You need one coach. Equipment isn't much of an issue and travel isn't an impediment. Golf teams don't play dual matches. We aren't going to Texas or Oklahoma every week. You generally play in tournaments and there are plenty of those [on the East Coast].''
In contrast, tennis involves more travel. There are dual matches. WVU's women's team played 20 dual matches and four tournaments this season. It played five Big 12 schools and five non-conference opponents on the road. Only six Big 12 schools have men's tennis teams.
In golf, all nine of the other Big 12 schools have teams and most play a few tournaments in the fall and a handful, maybe six to eight, in the spring. Those tournaments have nothing to do with the league, save for the conference tournament at the end of the year.
"We looked at what the Big 12 schools were spending on golf and track and tennis, and golf was easily the least expensive,'' Luck said.
Track fans, of course, voice most of the complaints, and with good reason. This state produces a rather extraordinary number of track and field athletes given its size. Come out to the state meet this weekend and you'll see three of the best the state has ever produced - Cabell Midland's Jacob Burcham, St. Marys' Maggie Drazba and Buckhannon-Upshur's Emily Godwin. Drazba will run for WVU's women next season, but Godwin is going to North Carolina and Burcham to Oklahoma.
That last one really hurts, of course, because he's going to a Big 12 school. Not that he would have chosen WVU, but it would have been nice if he'd had the chance.
Track, though, presents more costs in regard to equipment and coaching. Travel as compared to golf is probably a wash, but this isn't: WVU's track is in awful shape. That should be rectified for the women, of course, but doubling its use would make it mandatory. And that's just another expense.
"But it's not really golf vs. track. I don't want to make it sound like that,'' Luck said. "I love track, and this state produces some great track athletes. But golf just makes more sense in a lot of ways.''
That includes recruitment. This state actually produces some pretty good golfers, so a team could be largely home grown.
"And it's not like we're going to have to build a golf course,'' Luck said.
No. In fact, he's already floated the idea to some pretty good courses that would love to host a college tournament. In Morgantown, both The Pines and Lakeview are quality courses. Right down the road is the Pete Dye course in Bridgeport and across the border north is Nemacolin Woodlands.
And chances are, if there were any home matches played at all, it would just be one a year. For the most parts teams travel to those handful of tournaments each year and that's it.
The decision on what sport to add hasn't officially been made, and it's not Luck's call, but the university's. There's no rush because the Big 12 isn't demanding that WVU add a sport right away, and Luck figures whatever sport is added won't be fully up and running until 2015-16, allowing plenty of time to hire a coach and recruit a team.
And if it is golf that's added, there will be plenty of folks in favor of it. There will also be critics. And the track supporters will have some good arguments and names to call Luck.
Just don't call him a golfer.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.