There is also a political element involved, as well. The new athletic director will be hired by Texas president Bill Powers and the UT Board of Regents, but there is friction there that has nothing to do with the athletic department.
Luck, though, is seen as a candidate that can potentially step in and smooth over some of the friction between the school and its boosters in regard to the turmoil at least in those three major sports. He is appealing, according to Orangebloods sources, because of his CEO approach to athletics, an engaging personality and his ties to Texas as a UT law school grad.
He was heavily involved in Houston area professional sports prior to coming to West Virginia - his undergraduate alma mater - and even has a bit of star quality because he was a quarterback with the Houston Oilers and is the father of one of the NFL's brightest young stars, Andrew Luck.
Oliver Luck was also recently named one of 13 members of the new college football playoff selection committee and none of that is likely to put off rich Texas boosters.
There are, however, glitches on Luck's resume.
He's only been a college athletic director for three years and not all of his moves at WVU have worked out well. Chief among the issues were his handling of the school's media rights and the way he replaced football coach Bill Stewart with Dana Holgorsen. It helps little, either, that Holgorsen's star has faded in the wake of the last two seasons, but Luck signed him to a large contract that, if the school ever wants out of, will be hugely expensive.
Still, Luck has had his successes and, it can be argued, can accomplish little more at WVU. He steered the school out of the nightmare that was the Big East implosion and into a conference where the revenue stream was unheard of for WVU. The media rights deal that he started was eventually completed, which is another vast revenue source. And he was instrumental in getting a new baseball stadium project off the ground.
Although Dodds' retirement does not take effect until Aug. 31, Texas officials have privately said they would like to have a successor in place by Dec. 1. Dodds' latest contract paid him $700,000 plus incentives a year and he is set to collect a $1 million annuity the day he retires.
Luck's latest contract at WVU, signed last October, is through 2017 and pays him $550,000 a year, plus up to $150,000 annually in incentives. In reality, though, his annual salary should he remain on the job through 2017 would average $625,000 per year plus incentives because of two large retention bonuses he would earn - $225,000 in 2015 and $150,000 in 2017.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.