MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University is literally ready to tee it up in the Big 12 Conference.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck said Wednesday that the Mountaineers need to add one sport on the men's side for Big 12 competition, and that "all indications are" that golf will be the choice.
Luck, in an interview in his WVU Coliseum office on Big 12 and other matters, said the Mountaineers also looked at resuming two other men's sports that were dropped by the school in the past - tennis and track and field/cross country.
WVU dropped men's golf in 1982, when it also dropped softball. While Luck said no decision is final, and one would have to be approved by the WVU Athletic Council as well as other entities, golf makes the most sense financially.
Luck did not say in which season WVU will begin competition in the sport.
He said another reason he likes the potential for a golf program is he is "big on regionalism, and golf is big in West Virginia, lots of great courses, lots of people playing ... The Greenbrier ... boosting tourism in the state."
He said he and other WVU athletic staffers have talked with several clubs in the area - including The Pines and Pikewood National - as potential home courses for the Mountaineers in a conference that is strong nationally in the sport.
While refusing to address matters involving the Big East and litigation surrounding WVU's pending exit from the Rhode Island-based conference - including a reported settlement of $11 million cash plus other moves, Luck did comment on several other matters:
* On the future of what would be a non-conference continuation of the "Backyard Brawl" football series with Pitt and an in-state continuation with Marshall:
"I haven't talked to Pitt. We haven't had any discussions with Marshall. But it's not as though we're purposely not talking. We've had a lot to work through (on the Big 12/Big East situation).
"And we've got games already scheduled, like with East Carolina and Michigan State in future years. We have to decide what we need to do about those."
* On the WVU programs that don't play in Big 12 competition:
"Rifle is not a Big 12 sport, and rifle will stay in the Great American Rifle Conference ... GARC, a great acronym.
"The Big 12 doesn't have men's soccer. There's Conference USA or the MAC (Mid-American Conference). We've had conversations with both ... Conference USA has other issues its dealing with now (potential merger with the Mountain West). We're still working on it."