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Luck: Committee members used to making tough decisions

MORGANTOWN - Oliver Luck serves on the NFL's player safety advisory committee. He spends many weekends traveling to watch his son, Andrew, play quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. And he has more than a few irons in the fire with his duties as West Virginia's athletic director and various responsibilities within the Big 12 Conference.

Now he has another gig as one of 13 members of the elite selection committee announced Wednesday to choose the participants in college football's new playoff system that launches next season.

So just where will Luck find the time? Well, the same place everyone else on the committee - he'll make it.

"I think all of us on the committee recognize the fairly high workload this will entail,'' Luck said. "I think everybody on the committee is committed to performing that workload.

"I think technology and shrinking those games down to the actual plays will allow us to probably watch a lot more football than the average fan who sits through a 3- or 31/2-hour game."

Luck was named Wednesday as one of five athletic directors on the committee. The work of the 13-member body won't begin until next year, and exactly how it will operate will likely involve a bit of a feeling-out process.

The one thing that seems certain, however, is that it will take some time. Luck said he has talked in the past to members of the NCAA's basketball selection committee, some of whom find themselves watching basketball until the wee hours of the morning after a regular workday is done.

"I think we'll have some of that as well,'' Luck said.

The committee is a rather large and diverse one, including former coaches, current athletic directors, a media member and even former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"It's not too big a group and not too small a group,'' Luck said. "I think the individuals who are in this group are individuals of high character and integrity, smart. I think we added it up and it's 230-some years of college football experience. And I think there are folks on the committee, every one of us, who are accustomed to making tough decisions. And certainly as we go through the process there will be some tough decisions.''

The bottom line, though, is that the committee will attempt to do something for which fans have cried for years. It's certainly not the broad playoff system that many endorse - it will include just four teams - but it is a start.

In pointing that out, Luck quoted Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on his philosophy regarding change in the game.

"College football change is evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary,'' Luck said. "I think the BCS was a tremendous improvement over what we had prior to that. And I think this playoff system is a significant improvement over the BCS.''

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.


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