The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

December 10, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- IMG could still be seen as controversial

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University is in its first year of partnership with IMG College for at least partial media rights.

As you may know, that agreement in a 12-year contract has resulted in a lawsuit against WVU by the West Virginia Radio Corp. that has yet to be settled.

The WVRC in this lawsuit named the WVU Board of Governors collectively and some members individually: President James Clements, who is now heading to Clemson University, and Athletic Director Oliver Luck, who is still being paid about $700,000 a year, among others.

The partnership with IMG College is paying the university slightly more than $6 million annually than it previously had been receiving.

As far as radio coverage, WVU had received some 70 years of excellent and high profile exposure from the longtime provider originated by Greer Industries, now WVRC, still part of Greer Industries.

Yet Morgantown’s radio affiliate WAJR, whose signal carries as far as the Greater Pittsburgh area, was reportedly deprived of carrying broadcasts of WVU football and basketball for 2013-14.

Why? That’s a question raised by many that is yet to be answered. Nobody at WVU has seen fit to offer answers. Some feel it could be out of spite because of the litigation between the WVRC and WVU officials.

I don’t know. I am just asking. But I am told that IMG College claims WAJR rejected an offer for broadcasts. But an attorney for WVRC denied that emphatically.

With that said, I challenge anyone to find another major university in the United States that does not have an AM radio station at its location carrying its game broadcasts.

Because WAJR was denied game broadcast rights, the owners decided that the broadcasts would not go on any of their other 40 radio stations in West Virginia towns and Cumberland, Md., area.

Obviously, this means that thousands of WVU alumni are unable to receive game broadcasts. What’s more, some viewers must pay extra to receive football telecasts on Fox Sports 1.

Before WVU joined the Big 12 Conference, a majority of its football and basketball games were televised by ESPN and ESPN2, and Mountaineer fans could tune in from coast to coast. That was when WVU was still a member of the Big East Conference.

However, if you have Internet service, perhaps you might want to thank IMG College for credit in establishing WVUSports.com.

Last Saturday afternoon you could have sat and watched the WVU women’s basketball team defeat Fairleigh Dickinson, 94-47, at the WVU Coliseum.

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Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bob Slonneger widely known as WVU professor, stats crew chief

    Robert Dean Slonneger of Morgantown, a widely known college professor and athletic game statistician, has passed away.
    “Bob,” as he was known to his multitude of friends, died on Tuesday morning, July 29, at Mon General Hospital, after a brief illness.

    August 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.
    However, he told me he faces knee-replacement surgery. So he’s going to find it necessary to give up bowling during a period of rehab. Hart has competed in an amazing total of 45 U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments during his outstanding career.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-Mountaineer track star dies; WVU athlete arrests may be concern

    I’ve learned belatedly that James Gordon “Jim” Dial, an outstanding men’s track and field sprinter at West Virginia University during the late 1940s, has died.
    He was a native of Huntington who earned All-State first team status. The Huntington High star led all scorers in the state Track Championship meets in both 1946 and ’47.

    July 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Jedd Gyorko running and taking batting practice now

    A report on the internet at this week’s start indicated that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko might be ready finally to rejoin the San Diego Padre’s starting lineup.
    He has been on the Major League’s disabled list since June 3. Problems with his feet was given as the reason Gyorko was unable to keep playing.

    July 16, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU hopes to boost season-ticket sales

    West Virginia University’s season-ticket sales for football are the lowest in nine years just two months before this season’s first home game.
    That will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Towson State. The Big 12 portion of the schedule follows.

    July 10, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: San Diego Padres’ Gyorko remains on disabled list

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
    • Jedd Gyorko still is not active with the San Diego Padres. The former West Virginia University standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for just over a month and hopes to return soon.

    July 9, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: It had to feel like ‘Ol’ Home Week’ for the Tricketts

    It might have felt like a bit of “Ol’ Home Week’ to West Virginia University starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
    His parents, Rick and Tara Trickett, were in the Morgantown area and stopped by to spend some time with Clint. They still live in Tallahassee, Florida.

    July 3, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football season-ticket sales approximately 26,000

    Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may be of interest to you:
    • West Virginia University season-ticket sales for the 2014 football campaign have reached approximately 26,000. That’s some 2,000 since the count of 24,000 when the renewal deadline was reached.

    June 27, 2014

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