MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- There was a celebration on May 17, 2012, one West Virginia University President Jim Clements invited others to attend by picking up his cell phone to spread the good news.
His athletic director, the only one his fan and fundraising base ever really wanted, wasn't pursuing another job. After weeks of wondering, Clements had clarity from Oliver Luck.
"I knew his name had come up for Big East commissioner, the Big 12 commissioner, it had come up for Stanford, so I said, 'I'm just asking in general, because I know the next big university, like Texas, is going to need an A.D. and your name is going to be on the list, so I need to know because we've got a lot going on here,' " Clements told me on the phone that day.
"He said, 'Jim, I love it here, I love what I do. I think we're making great progress. This is my alma mater and this is where I want to be.' "
The pride and the pleasure weren't so much about Clements keeping Luck from Stanford, where three of his children went to college and a fourth might to do the same. It was about keeping Luck at all.
Continuity is the key in college administration and Clements, who's hired about two dozen people for leadership and management positions since taking office in June 2009, felt good about planting a flag in his athletic department that was changing conferences and doing all sorts of things to close the gaps that exist between WVU and other Big 12 schools.
There has been no such phone call this time around, and the one that may eventually come might not be good news for Clements.
The Mountaineers are aware that Luck is a favorite to replace DeLoss Dodds as the athletic director at Texas, the school Clements anticipated 17 months ago, and the school that gave Luck his Juris Doctor at the end of his NFL career spent not too far away in Houston.
Poke around and this is clear: Clements and so many others with a stake in whatever the Longhorns eventually decide all believe Luck is the "top candidate," as one person close to Luck put it Tuesday.
Reports arose out of Austin this week that Luck would meet with the selection committee tasked with finding a replacement. Absolutely no one was surprised at WVU.
The administration and athletic department understand Texas is Texas and the resources are there to make it one of the top jobs in college. Not top athletic director jobs. Top jobs. Those same people know Luck's connections to the school and to the area. They know that Longhorns President Bill Powers was a law professor at Texas when Luck was studying there.