Q&A: Oliver Luck explains why he is leaving the NCAA to run the new XFL

(Patrick) #1

Luck really doesn’t say much of value in this piece as it’s just generalizations and nothing concrete. Interesting that this isn’t the only startup league coming around. Plan for the XFL is to start in January of 2020.

The Athletic: What’s behind your move?

OL: I’ve got a pretty deep passion for the game of football. In simple words, I love it. It’s not often an opportunity like this comes around with someone like Vince McMahon, who I consider a true visionary, a true entrepreneur who is backing, in a very significant way, the launch of the league.

As I got to know Vince over the last couple months, I asked myself, given what I know about start-ups, what are the key ingredients that need to be in place for a league to not only be launched, but to succeed in the long-term? Like any businessperson, we’re trying to build a viable, long-term business. As I was talking to Vince and his senior executives, I was able to satisfy myself that all of those key ingredients are in place: leadership, vision, strong capital contribution, a solid business plan, a sport still incredibly popular in this country. All of those key ingredients were in place.

(Patrick) #2

Janis Burke, CEO of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority, said that in addition to suggesting the UH and downtown stadiums as potential XFL sites, the sports authority is awaiting word on whether NRG Stadium’s commitments to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo would allow it to be a potential site for the league.