The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

March 29, 2011

Clements, Luck to be honored at Final Four

MORGANTOWN — The Houston chapter of the West Virginia University Alumni Association is going to honor Oliver Luck this weekend.

It will be in the form of a shrimp boil in connection with the NCAA Tournament Final Four on a boardwalk in Houston.

Too bad WVU’s new director of athletics won’t have his team among the Final Four, as it did in last year’s final foursome.

Ironically, Luck has been a member of the Houston alumni chapter for several years. He probably still is because Houston still is his hometown.

He moved there after he graduated magna cum laude from the university in 1981. The two-time Academic All-America selection was drafted by the Houston Oilers as a Rhodes Scholar Finalist.

Luck, who returned to his alma mater as athletic director officially last July 1, won’t be moving his family to Morgantown until this summer. That’s understandable, though.

Oliver (who we called “Ollie” during his four years at WVU) was pretty much a backup QB with the Oilers. But he found time to earn a law degree at the University of Texas.

That’s where he met his wife, Kathy, and she also is a lawyer.

Their oldest son, Andrew, is rated by many as the nation’s No.1 quarterback at Stanford. The Lucks also have a daughter, Mary Ellen, on the women’s volleyball team at Stanford.

Two younger children are still in school in Houston.

I’m told that WVU’s Houston alumni chapter also will be honoring WVU President Jim Clements’ wife, Beth. Of course, the president will be there to join in the tribute to WVU’s First Lady.

So it should be quite a festive weekend on the Houston boardwalk for the West Virginia visitors.

Speaking of Oliver Luck, I enjoyed and admired him as a QB from Cleveland (1978-81). I still consider him a very good friend and wish all the best in his new position here.

This, despite some solid differences of opinion in some of the things he has done as AD.

For one, I thought his timing of hiring a “head football coach in waiting” last November couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Then, more recently, I think its most untimely to raise football ticket prices and also parking for home basketball games and higher rates for football.

As one who grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s, I think we’re still in the toughest economic straights since then.

Here’s best wishes to not only Oliver Luck but Beth Clements for a wonderful weekend during the Final Four.

Enjoy!

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