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: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

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    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney wins 100th Sprint Car race

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest to you:
    • Dale Blaney, the all-time great West Virginia University basketball star, has achieved another historic notch in his athletic career as a Sprint Car racer. He posted his 100th career riding in the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio last weekend.

    April 12, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- What a wonderful evening with Dr. Stanley ‘Coach’ Kandzari

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    Coach Craig Turnbull, the latest head-coach victim of Oliver Luck’s shocking series of firings at West Virginia University, had generally enjoyed what many rate as an outstanding career not only in athletics but in life.
    Like the present, there also were some very difficult times for him as a youngster.

    April 6, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: All-time WVU great QB Bernie Galiffa dies at 63

    It was very sad to learn that Bernie Galiffa, one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in West Virginia University football history, had passed away.
    The three-year letterman for famed coach Bobby Bowden died last Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 63.

    April 4, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Is $106 million in facilities updates really key to WVU sports success?

    You may have heard or read that West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning to spend $106 million for major projects.
    According to published reports, that is to improve athletic facilities, including Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum (yet to be named for a rich donor).

    April 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Who’s next on Oliver Luck’s hatchet list?

    Who’s going to be next on Oliver Luck’s sad house-cleaning list as West Virginia University’s athletic director?
    Craig Turnbull, the outstanding head coach and builder of the Mountaineers’ wrestling program for 36 years, was notified on Friday afternoon that Luck shockingly announced that his contract will not be renewed on June 30 for next year.

    March 30, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU

    Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men’s basketball.
    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard performed admirably under coach Gale Catlett’s direction.

    March 29, 2014

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