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Posted at 2:37 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Andrew Luck will return to Stanford

By Cindy Boren

luck.jpg

Andrew Luck will seek more helmet stickers at Stanford. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Quarterback Andrew Luck, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, will return to Stanford for his junior season rather than enter the NFL Draft, the school has announced.

"I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University," Luck said in a statement released by the school, "and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012."

Luck's father, Oliver, heard criticism of his son's decision on radio shows and told Pete Thamel of the New York Times: "It's a Rorschach test for people's values system."

Luck and the Cardinal were 12-1 last season and that was a big factor for his son. "He wants to finish with those guys," he said. "It's a great group of players. That was by far the most important factor."


Luck was expected to have been the No. 1 pick by the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Draft and would have faced some uncertainty about next season, with the possibility of a lockout looming.

His decision to return to Stanford will also raise questions about his coach, Jim Harbaugh, and whether he will stay or jump to the NFL.

By Cindy Boren  | January 6, 2011; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Comments

There's only one direction this kid can go now, and if he has to adjust to a new coach next season it could mean he will be heading that way. What an idiot.

Posted by: Eman8 | January 6, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

He's not an idiot at all. Truly a wise decision, unless all you value in life is money.

He's not in it for the money. Look at it this way: if he leaves, there could be no NFL. He gets major money, but won't have the career he could have, won't be as excellent as he could have been, and has no college degree. He stays, gets a college degree, and still gets his shot still when the NFL is guaranteed to occur.

The only thing he sacrifices is money. He gains the chance to excel, get a degree from one of the best universities in the world, and will still be a multi-millionaire if he stays.

Good call Andrew.

Posted by: danashton9 | January 6, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: danashton9 | January 6, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Plus as long as he stays healthy he's still learning and developing physically. Jimmy Clausen anyone?

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | January 6, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This decision makes no sense, and the rationale above used to defend it just exposes that.

"Look at it this way: if he leaves, there could be no NFL." I assume this is referring to a work stoppage next season (which I believe is unlikely). Let's assume that happens. Luck can then go ahead and take classes at Stanford, but with $40 million in his bank account.

If he is going to be the #1 pick (which all assumed was the case), he is now risking another Matt Leinert situation, especially considering that his college coach is currenting across the country interviewing for jobs.

Posted by: Jethro3 | January 6, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This decision makes no sense, and the rationale above used to defend it just exposes that.

"Look at it this way: if he leaves, there could be no NFL." I assume this is referring to a work stoppage next season (which I believe is unlikely). Let's assume that happens. Luck can then go ahead and take classes at Stanford, but with $40 million in his bank account.

If he is going to be the #1 pick (which all assumed was the case), he is now risking another Matt Leinert situation, especially considering that his college coach is currenting across the country interviewing for jobs.

Posted by: Jethro3 | January 6, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I won't call him an idiot for his decision. Only an idiot would call a kid an idiot for wanting to stay in school and get his degree. But I will say that he is risking a lot by returning. Multi millions. If this was baseball or basketball I can see waiting but in football the likelyhood of a catastrophic injury occuring is so great. I remember watching Willis McGahee's last game where his leg was almost snapped in two. He went from a top 5 pick to bottom of the first round. I thought his career was over and I know when it happened that thought probably ran across his mind. Take the money kid..Out of all the big money US sports football is the most unforgiving.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | January 6, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure if that is the best decision as far as his finances are concerned, but for me, I am looking forward to watching Stanford play next year with him as QB.

Maybe my Skins can lose 14 games next season and pick him up for 2012.

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | January 6, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I think that's a good decision, if he plays better next year (with Harbaugh or without him) it just proves that he's the best QB since Matt Ryan to go pro when he's ready. He has a chance to win the Heisman next year and still be the top pick when all is said and done.

Plus, I think he got scared to be drafted by the Panthers. but right now..... Panthers fans are just in shock.

The Skins should lose all 15 games just to be safe and get the #1 pick next year. There's no QB in this year's pool that can go to the next level with their "talent". Cam Newton is being hyped so much, he reminds me of Vince Young when he won the Rose Bowl, and look at him now

Posted by: datruth21 | January 6, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Not a smart move. You can ALWAYS go back to school and get your degree. You usually only have one chance to be the overall #1 pick in any sport. Too many things can go wrong if you don't jump at the chance.

It's not about valuing money over education, it's taking advantage of opportunity when it's presented.

Posted by: WrongDog | January 6, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"You can ALWAYS go back to school and get your degree. You usually only have one chance to be the overall #1 pick in any sport."

EXACTLY.

And, the labor uncertainty actually is an argument in favor of coming out now. It is very likely that the new labor agreement will have some sort of rookie cap, so he is likely sacrificing millions even if he is still the #1 pick in 2012.

Posted by: Jethro3 | January 6, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

More power to him. He'd get killed as a Panther. He'd have no protection, he'd have no coaching staff, he'd have no options to throw to.

Money's not an object for him -- he's at Stanford, I think he'll do right fine whatever his decision.

Posted by: Meepo | January 6, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. If I were Andrew Luck I don't know I could risk injury at school playing for my tuition money knowing I passed up multi-million dollar contracts. All it takes is 1 hit and this opportunity is gone. And if he comes back next season and has a terrible year his demand will go way down which impacts his earning and playing potential.

And I have to make a comment to the person talking about what happens if he signs and there is a lockout. What happens? He goes back to school a wealthy Junior and completes his degree while riding out the lockout. I'm more than sure any dummy negotiating this kid's deal would work in a signing bonus. I'm sure said signing bonus would be well enough to pay tuition and board at Stanford.

Posted by: fortheclueless | January 6, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This decision "makes no sense" for those who only care about money. If that's all you care about, I feel sorry for you.

Another common lament you hear when a star player stays in school is "what if he gets injured?" And what are the odds of that? Can you name me a recent collegiate QB star with NFL potential whose career was ruined by injury? No. People with horrendous injuries - EJ Henderson, Garrison Hearst, etc - come back from injuries these days with the help of modern medicine.

For anyone who thinks life is about more than piling up a bunch of cash and about more than doing the predictable and safe thing all the time, Andrew Luck's choice is awesome. Does anyone really doubt that this guy is going to be rich and successful even if he waits another year??? Please.

Posted by: chop1 | January 6, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

More to life than pro football, although it is one of the best things. Enjoy while you can, most people don't have the financial well-being to defer this much money.

Posted by: ElYeah | January 6, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure if there's a lockout, he wouldn't get paid. That's why the NFL is advising players to save up some money in case it happens.

Another factor to consider: Luck will have one more season of experience under his belt, and so will likely be better prepared for life as a rookie NFL QB. I think he's making the right decision. If the choice was foregoing his senior year, it might be a different thing, but he's only been on the Stanford team for two seasons.

Posted by: acoberst1 | January 6, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

If there is a lockout, he would not get his 2011 salary, but--assuming he signs a contract--he would get his signing bonus, which would be 8 figures.

Posted by: Jethro3 | January 6, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

You are all wrong....remember one of the bargaining positions the owners are taking is a salary scale for rookies. They don't want to be paying mega bucks to player straight out of college that fall on their face in the first year. Luck will NOT get mega-millions if he had come out. He would get a a contract based on a sliding scale per draft position. Don't know exactly how they will work that out but the players want the money for vets not rookies so it's going to happen!

Posted by: bullwinkle1 | January 6, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how you can criticize a kid for staying in school wanting to get a degree from a top school. Maybe he enjoys the college life, has bonded with his fellow architecture schools and his first love is architecture, not football. I know that in our society you're supposed to jump for the money, but maybe that's not what motivates this guy.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 6, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Mr. Luck made a smart choice.

Also, thank goodness, the Redskins don't have to even think about trying to move all those places in the draft to get a shot at him, really an impossibility. But knowing this crowd, anything is possible. Anyway, I am glad Andrew Luck is off the NFL board in the coming draft.

Posted by: royhobbs56 | January 6, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I have two degrees in architecture, and I'll say this. If he doesn't go into the NFL he'll be luck-Y to earn $50k a year. Seriously Lucky. And talk about topping out at $80k later in life.

No, the dumb decision wasn't necessarily not going into the NFL right now and earning $50 million. The dumb decision was going into Architecture. And the REALLY dumb decision was choosing NFL over Architecture.

But hey, when I was still in school I was a hopeless romantic for architecture. That romance will be quickly crushed either way when he graduates (either by the NFL or going into his profession).

Posted by: beatledud | January 6, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again with all the b.s. about a rookie wage scale. Think about it for a minute: what's the average number of first year players every season; answer, between 300-350. How many of them get the big bucks? Really big bucks, maybe top 20. Semi-big bucks, maybe next 20. That makes 40. What about the remaining 300 or so? What with owners already pushing hard to lower the percentage of revenues going to players--all players--where do you think those "savings" will go? Lower ticket prices? Give me a break. Back to veterans? Sorry, we owners have been giving all players too much already. So, the simple answer becomes, into the owners' pockets. And the players/union are much too smart to let that occur. Well then, how about solving this by cutting the draft down to two rounds (remember that in the 60's it was nearly 30 rounds, 12 rounds as recently as 1992, 8 rounds in 1993 and cut to the current seven rounds in 1994). Let everyone past the end of the second round be free agents and choose where to play.
For those of you who think NFL players are "overpaid", two things: any one of you is free to show up at a team office, ask for a tryout and take a job away from a current player (and I strongly recommend reading George Plimpton's Paper Lion to find out what that process entails). Finally, the percentage of high school seniors playing football who successfully make it to an NFL roster and play for four years and up is >.001%. That means that by the time an athlete reaches the NFL he has to be very, very good. As for Andrew Luck, he is making the right decision: for every Leinart and MacGahee. there are many others who waited and earned more--with one reason being that the money going to first rounders keeps increasing no matter what else prevails.

Posted by: iliwai34 | January 7, 2011 4:02 AM | Report abuse

Dude, you always can go BACK to college. You can't always go back to the NFL.
But I checked "Yes" on the survey, if he wants to stay in school then he should stay.

Posted by: kls1 | January 7, 2011 6:32 AM | Report abuse

I guess sports forums are full of the kind of ignorant opinionating that I see here. But it's his life, his decision, and not yours. It may not be what you would do if you were in his shoes, but I bet you'd never be in his shoes anyway, either athletically or academically.

Posted by: DaveR1 | January 7, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

He's taking a big chance, just to get some more college experience.

Lots can happen in a year. If he wants to be an NFL quarterback, and could go number one in the draft, he's perfectly aligned with that now.

If he plays another year, he could get injured or not have nearly the year he had this year, with an offensive line composed of fifth year seniors.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 7, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

A virtual headshaker.

Posted by: richs91 | January 7, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

A virtual headshaker.

Posted by: richs91 | January 7, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Luck is at the Top of his game and can really hurt his chances of being #1 next year. His coach will probably be the coach of the 49ers and he will finish his college career learning a new system....He could always take the money. If the NFL doesn't work out for him, so what. He can go back and finish his last year and start his career. I really don't understand this decision at all...SMH

Posted by: psock1 | January 7, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Andrew has made a really smart move that will serve him for his whole life, and he is smart and can do more than just football. He is going to get a full degree from Stanford for just one more year. Hope he gets a Heisman to go with his diploma. Go Cardinal!

Posted by: steve20082008 | January 7, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to go with - earn your millions now. Luck can go back to school later/off season if you want a degree.

He's risking an injury over a whole season.

Posted by: charley42 | January 7, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins will trade for picks next year and Andrew Luck WILL BE A REDSKIN IN 2012 BOOK IT! BORN IN DC AND WILL PLAY IN DC! The Redskins will take Mark Ingram in the 1st rd 2011(will trade back for a 1st or 2nd rd pick in 2012)! Michael Floyd in the 2nd rd in 2011(will trade back for a 1st or 2nd in 2012)! mcJoke will be traded for a pick in 2012(hoping a 1st in 2012 for this bum), fat al will be traded for a pick in 2012(hoping a 1st but might settle for a 2nd in 2012)! BOOK THIS ANDREW LUCK WAS THE ONLY QB DANNY AND SHANNY WANTED FOR THOSE THAT SAY Cam Newton LMAO LMAO ARE YOU JOKING? cam WILL BE THE NEXT JAMARCUS RUSSEL LMAO SOME PPL ARE VERY STUPID! LMAO LMAO CAM NEWTON LMAO HE COULDNT EVEN CARRY TEBOW'S JOCK IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND THE LMAO "SPREAD O" AND IT WILL BE THE SAME IN THE NFL IN A "PRO OFFENSE"

Posted by: warriorking111285 | January 9, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

He made the best choice He has ONLY 1 SHOT TO PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL, ONLY 1 CHANCE TO WORK ON HIS GAME TO BE THE BEST BEFORE HE TURNS PRO! I PRAY AND HOPE THE REDSKINS CAN GET HIM BC HE IS GONNA BE A PRO SUPERSTAR! LMAO LMAO CAM NEWTON WILL NEVER BE A PRO SUPERSTAR HE WILL BE JUST LIKE JAMARCUS RUSSEL AND NOT EVEN CLOSE TO LMAO VINCE YOUNG!

Posted by: warriorking111285 | January 9, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

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