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Stanford’s Lucky day: QB to return for another season

Andrew Luck, Jim Harbaugh

In all likelihood, Stanford will lose their head coach to an NFL gig at some point in the very near future.

Fortunately for the Cardinal faithful — and their new coach — they’ll have one of the top quarterbacks in the country to fall back on.

In a press release issued by the school, Andrew Luck announced that he will not declare for the NFL draft and will instead return to Stanford for another season.  Luck’s decision comes as a surprise to some, although it shouldn’t have if they’d been paying attention to his public comments on the situation.

“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,” Luck said in a statement.

Luck, who seemed to have the inside track on becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the April NFL draft, will instead enter 2011 as one of the early Heisman front-runners.  The redshirt sophomore finished second to Auburn’s Cam Newton in the 2010 voting.

As for those questioning Luck’s wisdom, Sam Bradford faced a very similar decision just a couple of years ago.  That seems to have worked out OK for the former Oklahoma QB.

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59 Responses to “Stanford’s Lucky day: QB to return for another season”
  1. richmcn says: Jan 6, 2011 2:53 PM

    wow…carolina, you are now on the clock for…??

  2. soflatrojan says: Jan 6, 2011 2:56 PM

    Does this mean Harbaugh is staying?

  3. dezbryant says: Jan 6, 2011 2:56 PM

    Why would Luck do this ? He would be the #1 pick what can he gain from going back ? His degree in grass cutting and gardening is that important ? He could always go back and get his degree. I dont get it

  4. secdominance says: Jan 6, 2011 2:57 PM

    I know what, giving how much money Harbaugh is asking for, he better deliver in the NFL…that’s if he goes

  5. edgy says: Jan 6, 2011 2:59 PM

    Well, it seems like maybe the prospect of going to Carolina wasn’t all that tempting, especially since he’d probably have to listen to Clausen crying about how he wasn’t given a fair chance.

  6. blitz4848 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:08 PM

    Just maybe football doesn’t consume his entire life being!

    It is terriblly selfish that he wants to finish getting his degree in architectural design from Stanford. Why would a football player want or need a degree from a prestigous school like Stanford?

    Almost everything in every headline has to do with someone being too greedy, ie..networks, the NCAA, the colleges, players, agents, parents etc..
    and everyone condemns it but now a kid wants to come back for all the RIGHT reasons and he will be labeled as possibly the dumbest football player on the planet. Just maybe the $$$ isn’t all that to him.

    Those of you that think it is stupid,insane or whatever might want to keep those thoughts to yourself because you can’t play both sides of this equation.

    Who are we to decide if it’s too early or too late for this kid to decide what he wants to do with his life.

    I would take the money and so would most of the rest of us in his place but I applaud him for having the courage to make this decision knowing all the downside and criticism he will have to endure…..I am now an Andrew Luck fan.

  7. gatorprof says: Jan 6, 2011 3:11 PM

    Hope that he has a nice insurance policy just in case.

    Here is hoping that Luck wins the HT next year!

  8. jpmsteffen says: Jan 6, 2011 3:17 PM

    If you’re a #1 pick, you are going to a crappy team regardless of which year. He might as well grab the money because next year it might be Washington, or Buffalo, or Minnesota.

  9. John Taylor says: Jan 6, 2011 3:18 PM

    @blitz: Best. Comment. Ever.

  10. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 3:21 PM

    just an ignorant move. Sorry, but you can always finish your degree at Stanford at any point with all that money that the number 1 overall pick receives. The purpose of college is to put you in a position to have a good paying career…well, someone forgot to tell Luck that he is ready for his good paying career right now.

    I commend his commitment, but this is one of those things that does not make any logical sense. In fact, this is a passion thing more than logic.

    College is the most over rated and unnecessary institution in this country. It is nothing more than a scam, and even more so for “student athletes”.

  11. ragtag61 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:21 PM

    Regardless of what one thinks about the importance of a degree from Stanford (that could be obtained later) this was a very poor business decision. He won’t make the same money next year and he is risking injury. I don’t think obtaining a diploma in 2012 versus 5 years later is worth millions of dollars. Daddy steered the boy wrong. I feel bad for the kid.

  12. mbmorganjr says: Jan 6, 2011 3:28 PM

    Fair point about Sam Bradford. I’m a Rams fan and I’m glad he did what he did.

    But…you failed to mention Matt Leinart, who went back to school when he would have been the #1 pick. He ended up losing a lot of money because of that decision.

  13. adash7 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:38 PM

    Or maybe, just maybe, it’s neither about the $ or the edumacation. Maybe it’s just about being enjoying the rest of his final days in college?

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. I’d give up all the $ I had to go back and relive them.

    Perhaps young Andrew Luck knows life, as he knows it, is fleeting. Perhaps that’s why he would rather enjoy it for as long as he can and treasure those moments than trade it in for a few extra million, which in his case, will be chump change in the not so distant future.

  14. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 3:39 PM

    blitz: A logical man can decide someone’s decision is ignorant when it lacks any type of logic. Where is the logic in staying versus going?

    Getting the degree? Well, last time I checked leaving early to play in the NFL does NOT preclude you from being able to get your degree at a later time.

    Listen, this lacks any type of intelligent thought and that is not debatable. Yes, it’s his decision to make and with that comes the fact that we can all call it a dumb decision if we so desire. Just because it’s his choice and not ours does not mean we can’t say it’s ignorant…because it IS!

  15. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 3:44 PM

    adash: that’s probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Move on, college is over! That would be one of the most immature reasons to stay in college and should show NFL programs that this kid just doesn’t get it.

    Honestly, I almost hope this kid get’s blown up next year and is unable to go pro. Then we can talk about how ignorant this decision is. OK, I pushed it, I don’t really wish that upon him but man, what a jacka??

  16. 1historian says: Jan 6, 2011 3:48 PM

    Good move kid – that’s a gutsy decision. It’s

  17. 1historian says: Jan 6, 2011 3:49 PM

    YOUR decision and it’s noone else’s damn business. Your reasons are also no one else’s damn business.

  18. delius1967 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:49 PM

    Blitz, your comment would make sense if we were talking about a normal job. But we aren’t. Being the #1 pick would mean instant financial security for the rest of his life. It’s not like he’s putting off becoming a $40k wage slave.

    What is his degree for, if not to provide himself (and by the way, his family, if and when he has one) with just that?

  19. booman11 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:49 PM

    Things did work out for Sam Bradford but he was VERY lucky. You have to remember Bradford injured his throwing shoulder during the 1st half of the first game of the season. The decision to come back almost cost him millions. Andrew Luck should cash that lottery ticket now especially since Harbaugh will be gone. He has no idea what system he will have to work under.

  20. adash7 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:50 PM

    I bow down to my new overlord, spartyfi. He obviously is more wise than any one of us in the art of decision-making. God forbid someone choose anything else other than the almighty dollar.

  21. ddavid1966 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    dezbryant says:
    Jan 6, 2011 2:56 PM
    Why would Luck do this ? He would be the #1 pick what can he gain from going back ? His degree in grass cutting and gardening is that important ? He could always go back and get his degree. I dont get it

    @dezbryant: two words, lock out

    and for all you going on about how his is pursuing his education, blah blah blah I have two words for you, lock out.

  22. Ben Kercheval says: Jan 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    Spartyfi: why would you wish injury on someone, especially Luck?

  23. WingT says: Jan 6, 2011 3:53 PM

    Great comment

    You are assuming that money is the most important thing to Luck. It is you that is stupid for not seeing this. Obviously money is not the most important thing to him or else he would go to the NFL this year – end of story.

  24. tmkelley1 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:54 PM

    I am totally amazed at the shallow thought shown here because Luck is not going to the draft but rather choosing to stay in school. I’m even more amazed at those calling his decision stupid and ignorant. It is precisely the opposite.

    He is only a sophomore, and only 21 years old. If he were to come out, likely to Carolina, from which QB there would he learn how to be a pro–Jimmy Clausen? He came out too early, as you can see from the evidence.

    By staying in school, he gets another year to earn his degree in something that obviously interests him very much. It is architectural design, not “grass-cutting” as some uneducated moron suggested above. He also gets the only lifetime chance to be a college student at the age of 21, and to do those things that you can only do at that age. And he gets to do them at one of the world’s great universities. No amount of money can buy that once you’ve passed it by.

    And to call it “a stupid business decision” is precisely the point–it’s not a business decision to him. It is a LIFE decision, and congratulations to the young man for being so mature and to his parents for raising him so well.

  25. fogarty1331 says: Jan 6, 2011 3:55 PM

    I understand his desire to go back to school rather than enter the draft…. Many guys my age did that some years back during the Nam thingy…… But then again, maybe that’s a little different.

  26. chiefjustice11 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:00 PM

    I am impressed with his decision and he seems to have the right motivation. That being said, I would imagine that the looming possibility of a holdout next year would enter into his decision making process,…..

    We may never know his true motivation.

  27. pajoe says: Jan 6, 2011 4:00 PM

    You can’t get your childhood back and neither can you get those college days back once you leave. His dad makes big bucks, so he doesn’t need money. If anyone really thought about it, he’s making the wise decision as the money will be there, enjoy the no pressure of your college days as long as you can, I know I would!!!

  28. jm1680jr says: Jan 6, 2011 4:09 PM

    Sure he could come out and make millions now, but if there is a lock out now (and it doesn’t look good) he loses his eligibility to play college ball and is screwed. There is always the risk he could get hurt before the NFL, but there is the same risk in the NFL. With a college degree, if he gets hurt in the NFL he at least has something to fall back on. I say “Way to think ahead”. If he is really that good he will be drafted first next year also, so it is a good decision. If it wasn’t for the possible lockout, I might be leaning the other way and so might he.

  29. edgy says: Jan 6, 2011 4:16 PM

    If Luck is hurt far worse than Bradford then it’s a bad decision because he would forfeit the top pick and a lot of money BUT if he stays healthy or just as an injury like Bradford, there’s no QB that will be the first pick before him but he could lose out to a hot defensive player. The problem is that he’s going to lose some real talent off the offensive line so he is going to risk injury like Bradford did because he was hurt by the fact that the OL lost a lot of players last year. I don’t think that his performance can hurt him much because the scouts are going to take that into account but a debilitating injury could hurt his stock.

    As for the degree: it’s really not that big of a deal. The NFL will help him get it so if he did jump, that wouldn’t even be a consideration.

  30. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 4:18 PM

    @wing: why’s he in college then? For the experience of it? And you find that to be ok? Anyone over 18 is a grown up and needs to make grown up decisions, plain and simple. Money may not be the most important thing but are you saying that just the “experience” of college is more important than moving your life forward? Of course you are, why wouldn’t you. So, social life is more important than your business/profession? Yes, in America it is apparently which is why we are being surpassed by so many other Countries in so many ways.

    @Ben, read my whole post next time….

    @dash: if he didn’t care about the almight dollar then he wouldn’t be in college, he’d be working at McDonald’s so don’t give me that load of manure. College is designed to put you in a position to be successful. He is an athlete and is the top one coming out of college so how can it help him.

    Logic: new coach, new system, potential for injury, rookie wage scale after this year….add all of that up and what do you get? An ignorant decision….that’s not me saying I’m the king of decisions, that’s me pointing out the obvious!

  31. tmkelley1 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:21 PM

    So, spartyfi, the only things that matter to you are being rich and “on top,” right?

  32. massivedick says: Jan 6, 2011 4:22 PM

    why did he do this? … white and smart

  33. gwest40 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:28 PM

    dezbryant – By staying in school he avoids the lockout. NOTE: His major is Architecture, not grass cutting.

  34. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 4:30 PM

    tmkelley: how is his life enhanced by staying in school? Seriously, how????

    So no, the only thing that matters to me is moving forward in life and being successful. All other things fall in line from there.

    I don’t see how staying makes him smart. Sorry guys, try and justify it all you want but he’s turning down more money in his first contract than he would get in his entire career in architecture (slight over exaggeration I know but you get my point).

    The only thing that matters to me is using intelligence when making a decision and being logical about it. I mean, if you want to live in a world full of ignorant people, have at it but I’m not down with that. Again, where is the LOGIC in this decision????

  35. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 4:30 PM

    massivedick says:
    Jan 6, 2011 4:22 PM
    why did he do this? … white and smart

    I was thinking: immature and ignorant.

  36. gwest40 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:34 PM

    jm1680jr – players who choose to go back to college instead of the draft usually take out an insurance policy against injury (see Willis McGahee’s $2.5 million policy – However, he never filed the claim). The claim is easily enough to pay for the remainder of school plus expenses.

  37. blitz4848 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:39 PM

    Why Ignorant?
    He’s not staying for a National Championship because Harbaugh is going to the Dolphins.
    He’s not leaving for the $$$ so he’s staying for whatever the RIGHT reasons are for HIM.

    He can get his education anytime. Yeah, right. How many have the time or desire after they go to the NFL and get self absorbed in their new profession–especially an NFL Qb.

    Who’s to say that $1 mil or $ 40 mil isn’t just fine with him. Not everyone is driven to grab every dollar they can possibly get. Being set for life before a person starts day one of a job can sometimes be the ruination of that person.

    The comments are laughable, on one board bloggers says they are all way overpaid anyway and another board commenters say worst decision ever because he doesn’t take the $$$!!!!

    It appears this is the old catch 22–he is going to be crucified either way and it appears he chose to enjoy his young life the way HE chooses and the heck with what anyone else says.

    As someone else said this is a life decision and one his parents have to be very proud of considering all the wrong decisions our youth are making during the “entitlement era!”

  38. tmkelley1 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:48 PM

    spartyfi writes: “how is his life enhanced by staying in school? Seriously, how????”

    Therein lies the dilemma–if it has to be explained, you wouldn’t understand it.

  39. lgwelsh1 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:48 PM

    The kid wants to get his degree from Stanford, that’s a bad move? He made the right decision, talk to Sam Bradford, it all worked out for him.

  40. breadad says: Jan 6, 2011 4:53 PM

    If Mr. Luck gets the right coach, wins the Heisman and the National Championship a lot of folks are gonna be eatin’ crow. Who’s to say that he will not be the number one pick next year? Money is not everything, if it was I would not be working where I am. You can make all the money in the world, but if you cannot stand to get up in the morning it just ain’t worth it. Not saying that he is right or wrong. But it is his decision to make.

  41. rogsmith9907 says: Jan 6, 2011 4:54 PM

    I agree with all of the others who agree it is his decision to make. And only his.

  42. soflatrojan says: Jan 6, 2011 5:00 PM

    Harbaugh to Miami is a done deal!!

  43. spartyfi says: Jan 6, 2011 5:20 PM

    tmkelley: I have my degree, got it after the Marines…a kid that can sign a contract for over $50M has no need for college, absolutely zero. His life will NOT be enhanced in any way whatsoever.

  44. reddog50 says: Jan 6, 2011 5:25 PM

    Spartyfi have you considered the NFL CBA negoitations and the possibility of a lockout? I bet he has adviser who have looked at the issue indepth.

    He could declare for the NFL and be sitting at home next year with no contract, no job, no school and no football to keep him sharp and his skills improving.

    Get insurance to protect him from injury and go back to school. The NFL first round and financial security will be there for him next year.

  45. WingT says: Jan 6, 2011 5:26 PM

    Sparty, I think you may be missing my point. All I am saying is that the man obviously understands the dollars involved and it is not important to him,. Why? I have no idea and I don’t care.

  46. tmkelley1 says: Jan 6, 2011 5:29 PM

    spartyfi, thanks for the information. It’s all clear to me now.

    Like you, I served, then got an education. And I can say without equivocation that I would reverse that decision in a NY minute if I could. And it ain’t about the dough.

  47. dddd1a says: Jan 6, 2011 5:36 PM

    sarttyfi, people don’t go to college just to make more money! Where did you come up with this?

    They go to college 1) to become educated and 2) persue a field of interest that they have a passion for.

    A person that is not interested in money does not persue a career at McDonalds, but they do pursue a career that they have a passion for, without taking the money they will make into account. Writers, teachers, artists, musicians for example don’t usually make a ton of money.

    In fact if money was a persons only motivation the person could probably do just as well without a degree and go into sales for example. A top real estate agent makes more money than most professions.

  48. man77rm says: Jan 6, 2011 5:50 PM

    I seem to recall that Peyton Manning did the same thing. And, he had a degree at the end of three years.

    Seemed to have worked out for him.

  49. edgy says: Jan 6, 2011 5:51 PM

    dddd1a says:


    Not true. You do realize that there are guys at McDonald’s that make a lot of money, don’t you? I know a couple of guys that worked their way up at Wendy’s and I bet they make more than most of the people here and they haven’t worked in a store for a long time.

  50. dddd1a says: Jan 6, 2011 5:56 PM

    Good point, a person could pursue a career at a fast food reasturant to make money or I guess working at a fast food reastaurant could be a pasion for them in and of itself.

    But my real point was a persons motivation for going to college is not all about making more money.

  51. reddog50 says: Jan 6, 2011 6:08 PM

    The NFL owners biggest issue with the CBA is the big dollars it takes to sign unproven rookies. That will change with the next CBA agreement or there will be a lockout. He missed his opportunity to make big dollars as a rookie by a year.

    He might as well stay in school until a new deal gets hammered out and not be caught up in a possible lockout.

  52. massivedick says: Jan 6, 2011 6:19 PM

    @spartyfi … put your pants back on, get off those left handed websites, log off from your gateway 2000 , get a life.

  53. micklethepickle says: Jan 6, 2011 6:30 PM

    I was really happy to see some great, intelligent comments on here, especially from @Blitz, @TMKelly, and @Adash (among others). Unfortunately, I was not at all surprised to see a bunch of people who are willing to wish a career-ending injury on a 21-year old kid (@spartyfi) simply they are jealous he’s going to live it up for a few more years at college.
    All those people who don’t get his decision are probably the ones who didn’t go to college. As Adash said, it is some of the best years of your life. And a Stanford degree is worth it’s weight in gold; worth WAY more than most people’s entire careers. Hell, I’M jealous! Stanford has some fine ladies, and is one of the best colleges in the country. Luck is a smart kid; hope he enjoys next year!!
    One last word to @sparty – you should think about the way you look online; how bitter are you, and how much of a failure must you be to hope someone is seriously injured because they decided to be happy and eventually rich instead of overworked and immediately rich? How sad…

  54. gamustangdude says: Jan 6, 2011 6:41 PM


    I guess that’s your way of trying to word play off Simper Fi, which tells me you were at some point a Marine. (Key word being WERE) Of course you wouldn’t understand the decision Luck made, without Big Blue Arrows and books with pictures, Marines would hardly understand most things in life, let alone complex decision making.

    They kid decided to stay in college, whatever the reason, it’s his decision. You joined the Marines, and now one’s clowning you? I’ll be the first.


  55. irish2u2 says: Jan 6, 2011 6:43 PM


    Does Andrew Luck owe you money? Otherwise it’s his life and as somebody else stated if I have to explain to you why Luck would stay in school, especially a school like Stanford, I’d be wasting my breath.

    Football careers are pretty short-lived. That degree from Stanford and the college experience are priceless and last a whole life. It’s true Luck could take the money and get his degree later but maybe he wants that degree now and he doesn’t want to spend his precious off-season time in class. Maybe he even just wants one more year of the relatively care-free life he leads now before he gets involved in the grind and responsibility of pro football.

    I love this country but I despair of the future of us all when somebody actually thinks the money is the only goal in life and education is just to get a job.

  56. 1historian says: Jan 7, 2011 9:15 AM

    I am glad to see Luck staying at Stanford and I hope that Harbaugh stays there too and I am waiting patiently for November 26, 2011.

    I am a Notre Dame fan.

  57. kage10 says: Jan 7, 2011 9:24 AM

    I am happy for Luck. And Dez, why would he go? Well, I’ve heard over and over that the NFL is a business. Maybe the kid actually enjoys playing football and being in college. Maybe he has other goals he wants to attain before he leaves, like a Heisman trophy that he deserves, a PAC-10 Title, or a National Championship. Have you thought about that? Maybe he can see the writing on the wall – that there will be a lockout next year and he’s not willing to take that risk. Maybe he will get a bigger price next year. I’m so happy for him. Yes, he could have been drafted #1 overall, but maybe he will next year. And if he doesn’t, so what? Is $50 million really that much more than $30 million? Believe me, I’d be happy with $3 million.

  58. tadworth says: Jan 7, 2011 10:47 AM

    Just a question – I am under the impression that the existing Collective Bargaining agreement ends in March 2011, and it is predicted that there will be a rookie cap in the new CBA – so why would it not apply to the April 2011 draft

  59. schportz says: Jan 7, 2011 12:23 PM

    Go get your dollars, man.

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