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April 15, 2013

BREAKING: A.G. report calls for rebid of Tier 3 media rights

Morrisey says WVU was sloppy and made errors

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University conducted a sloppy and error-plaguing bidding process in trying to sell off its Tier 3 media rights, according to a report the school authorized from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey that was released Monday morning.

While he found no intentional wrongdoing on the part of the school or “pre-cook”the results, he did believe the process was flawed badly enough that it should be rebid.

Morrisey singled out Board of Governors Chairman Drew Payne for acting improperly by not recusing himself from the process, along with Board of Governors member David Alvarez.

Payne is a stakeholder in West Virginia Media, one of those involved in the process. Payne improperly received information from WVU athletic director Oliver Luck during the process and further violated confidentiality policies by commenting publicly on the terms of the IMG deal, Morrisey’s report charged.

Alvarez also had ties to West Virginia Media.

The full 24-page report was to be put on line by the attorney general today at www.wvago.gov.

The rights, including the radio broadcast of Mountaineer games along with one telecast a season, had been designated to be going to IMG College, the prime player in college athletics in handling such rights, and West Virginia Media, run by Bray Carey.

The IMG bid was estimated at $110 million over 12 years.

However, John Raese, whose West Virginia Radio Corporation had been broadcasting WVU’s games and had submitted a bid to continue, raised questions about the integrity of the bidding process.

That challenge triggered a built-in response that had WVU review the process and that led to the school involving the attorney general to study the procedure.

According to Morrisey, the rebidding will be done “soon”.

“It is clear from this report that mistakes were made in the procurement process, and we will take proactive steps to fix them," WVU President James Clements said in a statement. “Starting over is simply the right thing to do.”

There was no word if any action will be taken against Luck, Payne or Alvarez.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel

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