Former XFL CEO and commissioner Oliver Luck recently appeared on ESPN, to discuss college football. It’s no secret that the former leader of the league had a falling out with its former ownership, but some had hoped that he would return with the new owners, Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson, to run the league.
There has been no indication that would happen. We hear from our sources that both sides have decided to move on and Luck will not be back. We still don’t know who the new XFL CEO and Commissioner is as the new ownership group has been relatively quiet since officially taking over the XFL on August 21st.
Luck’s appearance seems to back up the notion that he will not return to run the league, as the topic of discussion was whether college football would benefit from having a commissioner.
The league at the moment has no official leadership besides President Mark Emmert. As the NCAA allows the conferences to mostly make their own rulings.
Those familiar with Luck’s past know that he has had an extensive background with working in the NCAA. Both as an Athletic Director, and as an executive for the league.
To have Luck on the show to share his opinion is at least peculiar, given his background. Luck is technically unemployed at the moment, and the inefficient way the NCAA has responded to COVID-19 has been widely criticized.
That was the main topic of discussion on the show, where Reece Davis asked Luck what it would look like, if college football had a commissioner. This is what Luck had to say:
“I think the real focus ought to be on not necessarily an individual, but a unified voice. A voice that encompasses all of college football. Think of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there’s one message that comes out. And that’s I think the challenge we’ve seen this past 4 or 5 months with the pandemic is you know the sort of disoriented, uncoordinated approach that has been taken, and I think the American public expects from a great institution like college football that there is a unified voice.”Oliver Luck on ESPN
Having Luck on the show sends a message that the NCAA should pay attention. He doesn’t seem to be interested in returning to the XFL, but he is showing interest in getting back into football. Just at the collegiate level.
He goes on to call out the NCAA, in a manner in which to sound like he’s angling to be a voice of reason for the league, which would put thoughts of a return to the XFL to bed:
“I’ve always thought that the breaking away talk was sort of silly chatter but you know it’s picked up a little bit of momentum I think because of this pandemic and I think the pandemic has revealed all of the inadequacies and the fault-lines that exist within college sports…keep in mind that if they did break away in some form or fashion they would still require some sort of a government body and that’s sort of the challenge. How do you create that governing body that can be much more nimble and can realize the power of those programs and provide the sort of resources that it needs”Oliver Luck
Can Luck give them that resource? Can he fix the faults? Yes. He showed exactly what he can do with a league in the way that he ran the XFL last year.
Even with his departure from the XFL, and the sort of ugliness of the lawsuit, all of the players and coaches we have talked to loved the way he did business.
Unfortunately, we’ve probably seen the last of Luck in the XFL but we could potentially see him in a leadership role in College Football in the future.
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