Nowadays, most Pace students who regularly watch ESPN have probably noticed that NCAA and NFL football analysts can’t go five minutes without mentioning Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. These two premier quarterbacks, predicted to be first round picks during the NFL draft in late April, wowed the sports world with stellar seasons at their respective schools this year (Stanford University and Baylor University). However, amid all this discussion, confusion has emerged on the news that Andrew Luck, the more desired of the two, will declare plans to forego an NFL career in order to accept a major job contract in the field of architecture. According to The New York Times sports analyst Mike Tanier, a press conference on the matter is scheduled to be held at 4 p.m. this Thursday at Stanford University’s School of Engineering, just outside of Palo Alto, Calif. Ironically, this news comes just a year after Luck announced his decision to remain for his senior year at the school in order to finish a degree in architectural design.
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, an architecture, engineering and urban design firm is listed on the attendance list, leading many to believe Luck will likely reveal a previously negotiated contract with the company, most famous for designing the Willis Tower (previously Sears Tower) in Chicago. This announcement comes at a surprising time for the highly touted quarterback prospect, who was projected to be the number one overall draft pick most likely for the Indianapolis Colts.
Even more surprising is that Colt’s owner Jim Irsay was not in on the matter, as he released the veteran, four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning earlier this month, who has been plagued with a neck injury despite a cervical fusion surgery last September. Irsay was most likely hoping to replace the franchise quarterback with Luck. Even more interesting is the fact that Luck actually went to the week-long NFL Scouting Combine in February, ironically at the Colt’s Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This would suggest that the architectural contract with Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill is of recent origins, most likely surfacing in the last few weeks, which would also explain the Irsay situation. ESPN’s Adam Schefter explains that “it is highly probable that Luck was privately offered a huge, multi-year contract this past week, worth somewhere in the ballpark of $10 million, in order to surpass his potential rookie NFL earnings.” Luck refused to comment on the matter.
By Jeff Handler, Staff Writer ’13