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Oliver Luck can't stop talking about Rutgers

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Once, well that was an isolated incident. Twice is a little bit harder to explain away. There's no exact transcript of Oliver Luck's comments to a West Virginia radio station available yet, but he's sure to receive a stern complaint in the morning regarding a second swipe at a fellow conference member in as many months. How odd is it that the two of the most forward-thinking athletics departments in the Big East are now engaged in petty, one-sided sniping? Comparing Rutgers and West Virginia athletics just is not an apples to apples comparison. Rutgers fields 24 sports. West Virginia fields 17, and rifle isn't exactly as resource-intensive as soccer or lacrosse. Part of the difference between the two athletic departments is that WVU sells a lot more tickets (decades of history tend to accomplish that), and part of it is that they don't have as many mouths to feed. Yes, on a per-capita basis, there may not be a team in the country with more local support than the Mountaineers. That...is irrelevant. Here's the thing: people who are secure don't feel the need to justify their position (take heed, Syracuse fans cackling over this.) Luck is no dummy, but these comments come across as something halfway between self-reassurance and even a hint of desperation. With college football about to be enveloped in chaos, he is compelled to make an elaborate case for their continued relevance, because if the forthcoming reshuffling is all about markets, they're in very difficult position. Tim Pernetti, he just needs to point to a map of New York City.

West Virginia A.D. Oliver Luck gets his facts wrong

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Rutgers fans generally admire West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck for his willingness to buck the Big East conference leadership. However, at a recent speaking engagement, Luck got the facts wrong when comparing Rutgers and West Virginia. Generating revenue will be a huge challenge for all the Big East teams, Luck said, noting that Rutgers' athletic program had a $25 million deficit. "Unlike Rutgers and most other schools, WVU has a self-financing athletic department. ...We are one of only 22 in the nation," Luck said, adding that it's his job to keep it that way. That doesn't sound like an intentional dig, but Luck is wrong. The $25 million figure comes from combining $18m in institutional support and $7m in student fees. West Virginia's athletic department only receives slightly over $50,000 in inst. support, but also receives $4.1m in student fees. If student fees count as a deficit for Rutgers, they count for West Virginia. Oliver, Rutgers fans like you; please just apologize, don't make the mistake again, and we'll move on. We have to focus on the real enemies in John Marinatto and the Big East's non-football athletic departments. Either way, now Rutgers can feel far less guilty about gouging WVU fans for tickets this year.

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