Pundits reflect on Andrew Luck’s decision to stay

Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck

A brief statement was released Thursday morning from the Athletics Department saying that star quarterback ANDREW LUCK, who is a junior, has decided to stay at Stanford for his senior year rather than declare early for the 2011 NFL Draft.

Luck was projected to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft, with potential earnings well into the millions. So his decision attracted considerable attention among media outlets.

“I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012,” he said Thursday. He was not available for further comment, although his father, Oliver, talked to sports journalists on his behalf.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to quantify,” Oliver Luck, who is athletic director at West Virginia University, told the New York Times. “It’s easy to quantify the dollar amount, it’s harder to quantify the value of experience and completing a cycle, so to speak, with your cohorts and classmates.”

Within hours of the announcement, thousands of news outlets were weighing in, many supporting and some second-guessing his decision. The Washington Post even conducted a poll: “Is Andrew Luck making the right decision by staying at Stanford?” it asked. The overwhelming majority voted yes.

Some sports pundits and talk radio hailed the announcement as one that rectifies a tainted college football season. Luck, many said, represents the essence of the true scholar-athlete, reminding us what college athletics are supposed to be.

“After a season of sleaze and slime, we can all feel good about ourselves today,” wrote Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com. “Great kid. Great decision.”

But Oliver Luck told the Times he doesn’t think his son has “any desire to be the poster boy” for the good things in college sports. “I don’t think he’s doing this for anyone but himself. He knows himself best.”

He added, “I don’t think he’s trying to make any kind of cultural statement.”

The New York Times ended its story this way: “But Luck certainly made a statement Thursday, one that resonated strongly in college football and the N.F.L.”