Morgantown businessman John Raese says West Virginia University should rebid its third tier media rights for failing to follow its own and state purchasing rules and regulations.

Raese tells WVU President Jim Clements in a letter dated Thursday the problems are “clear as mud.”

(Read letter here.)

The university recently suspended its request for proposals process in granting of the rights, which includes the broadcasts of Mountaineer sporting events, to IMG College for what WVU’s attorney Bill Hutchens called Raese’s “complaint or protest.”

But Raese’s most recent letter says his concerns are much broader than the bid process and should be considered as such.

Raese also says that to show his concerns aren’t based on “sour grapes” his companies will not submit a bid if the current proposal process is canceled and rebid. West Virginia Radio did submit a bid in the process currently on hold.

Raese’s West Virginia Radio Corporation has distributed Mountaineer football and basketball broadcasts for decades. He has questioned the relationship between WVU Board of Governors Chairman Drew Payne, IMG College and West Virginia Media Holdings, believed to be part of the third tier deal. Payne was an original investor in West Virginia Media and recently said he still has about $500,000 in the company.

Raese asks Clements if he’s asked Payne to resign as BOG chairman. Raese says Payne’s “conduct, actions and statements” in connection with the controversy are “unacceptable” for someone in Payne’s position with the BOG.

Raese also tells WVU President Clements in the Thursday letter that he’s asked state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to investigate his public integrity concerns.

“My recollection is that he ran on a ‘public integrity’ platform this fall and has initiated a ‘public corruption unit.’ I’m not suggesting at this time that any public corruption took place here but it is obvious to all concerned that the purchasing process for this Proposal was not in compliance with either State or University purchasing rules and regulations. This needs to be looked into by the Attorney General,” Raese wrote.

Raese also makes several other requests of WVU. He wants to know information about the decision from university Athletic Director Oliver Luck to award the Bob Huggins TV show to WV Media. Raese says Huggins is also a WV Media investor. Raese also wants some answers about an athletic department loan from the WVU Foundation that was used to purchase scoreboards.

“I would ask you if State or University procedures, rules, or regulations were complied with in the acquisition of these scoreboards?” Raese asked Clements.




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  • lee

    Those of you opposed to determining the truth in this mess remind me of the Penn State braindeads who didn't want that can of worms opened.
    Why bash the messenger if the message is true?

  • Mike P

    Raese is sour but I can tell you one thing, and that is that he is doing this for the benefit of the University and its future. If you haven't noticed, he doesnt need the money, but he doesn't want WVU Sports to be cheapened or diluted with other BS. WV Radio Corp does a great job with broadcasts, and I'm not sure that IMG, which holds rights to MANY different Universities, will give it as much attention.

    • Dave

      Thanks Mr. parsons, we appreciate your imput, now, can we move on to getting the IMG contract finalized......

  • J.R. Skene

    All we can hope is for the end of Tony Caridi - the worst voice in radio.

  • Justin

    Reese needs to shut up and let the deal go through. We need the extra money to compete with the big boys in college football. All of our facilities need an upgrade. Every university bids their tier 3 rights out except for Michigan state. IMG usually works with local company to do the broadcasting so they will not be hurt like u think. WVU needs to do whatever it can to make the most money it can if we want to compete for Championships which all real mountaineer fans want to see above anything else. If u don't then u r not a real fan point blank.

  • Jay

    Mr. Raese should refer to DR. Clements as just that. His use of the prefix "Mr." is not only inappropriate, it's disrespectful.

    • ShadyGrove

      Jay, being disrespectful is Raese's style and intent.

      • thornton

        Pot, meet Kettle.

  • ShadyGrove

    If Raese has any proof of wrongdoing, bring it forward. If not shut the Hades up.

  • Greg

    I'm sure that Mr Raese's love for his beloved part-time home state and WVU will endear him to do the right thing. That is to dig deep into his own pockets and donate to WVU the $60M It stands to lose by not going with IMG. Lets not forget what a stand up guy he is! Or will he not step foot in the state again until its time to run for public office again?

    BTW - if he's got an attorney on retainer with nothing to do, couldn't he find a worthier cause than feathering his own nest? I'm sure there are plenty of churches or food pantries that could have used the money he's wasted already on attorney fees already.

  • couchburner

    NO MORE Coal Bowl ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • thornton

    Step up or stand aside...let the bid process be clear of any possibility of impropriety.

    Good on Raese.


    Can anyone say FREE MASTERS DEGREE the BOG is tainted

  • E2

    You all have to be kidding me. Do you really think Raese is the bad guy here? Do you have any clue of the potential damage that could have been done to local businesses and employees of the stations that carry WVU sports had an outside source come in and changed everything? The University didn't follow procedure and sure as heck didn't follow due diligence in the matter. I haven't voted for Raese and never will but you are all clearly misinformed.

  • GregG

    Old Raese better be careful demanding all this "digging". They might just "dig" a little to deep.

  • cutty77

    lets go interview the people that left or were asked to leave,because of WV Media's Dealings.Those people would not lie about what was happening,so they asked them to leave.The House of Cards fell when Milian Mike passed away.Eddie P went next then it started to unfold.This has been The Biggest Heist since The Brinks Robbery.Yes Mr Raese lets get to the entire bottom of it all.WVU I bet paid to Have Your Pink Driveway Painted In Palm Beach.

    • Charleston, WV

      I am just curious as to how this incident compares or relates to the Brinks Robbery? Please indulge us with your incite.

      • cutty77

        If you can't figure that out,then you have no clue what happened,and it can't be explained to you either.

    • will

      I think you will find that WVU has never paid Raese's company anything for their services.

      • cutty77

        I'm sure Raese did it for Free,because he loves WVU and This State.But he lives in Fla.Because he doesn't have to pay Tax on all this Free stuff he gives everybody.I'm going to give him a New Name Robin Hood Raese,takes from the Rich,and gives to the poor.Will,i bet believe in the Easter Bunny too,well he will be hopping around the corner soon

  • Hop'sHip

    While they are investigating, maybe they should extend it to the current arrangement for WVU athletic broadcasts. How was it arrived at? Was it one that served the University best? Was there a relationship between the prior Athletic Department leadership and those outlets that benefitted by the arrangement?The public deserves to know.

    • TBone Porterhouse

      Just what are you alluding to?? Don't just casually throw this out there and then duck and hide. Give some details as what you allude to. Or STFU once and for all.

  • Gary

    Who cares what Raese says. .......... He needs to stay in FL.

    • will

      the point is that its not what Raese says...its what took place. I'm glad we have someone in this state that truly cares about WVU and its reputation and is willing to stand up and say what needs to be said. Hopefully the other media in this state will follow the lead of Raese's company and investigate what really took place.

      • mindy

        I agree. Rules should not be broken.

      • wv2bklyn

        absolutely right

    • Charleston,WV

      That's sort of like saying, "Who cares about what Gary stated".