I’ll start by saying I fully support Luck’s decision to stay in school. This is a personal decision and probably the biggest one he’s had to make at this point in his life. He has to do whatever makes him feel most comfortable.
That said, when an NFL team does finally decide to pay him millions of dollars, nothing is too personal to be questioned.
To an outsider, Luck’s decision makes little sense. He says that he is committed to earning his degree; that’s fine, but nothing would stop him from returning to Stanford upon the conclusion of his NFL career – or even during offseasons.
By going back to school, he may be costing himself in the ballpark of $40M. A rookie wage scale may not be in place by this April, which means the top pick will get at least $50M. By 2012, a wage scale is almost certain to be in place which will bring to the price tag of the No. 1 pick down well below that figure – probably in the rage of $10-20M guaranteed.
All this adds up to a very confusing decision by Luck. His education vs the NFL was not an either/or choice.
As a result, when he does enter the draft next offseason teams will question him about this decision. They will want to no what led him to stay at Stanford and forgo millions of dollars in guaranteed money – money which he’ll never be able to recoup. They’ll want to know if he is truly dedicate to the game of football, or if his ambitions lie elsewhere.
Maybe these are unfair questions, but they will be asked and he will need to be prepared to further explain his decision.