West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck further elaborated Monday night in Charleston on the findings in a report from the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office regarding the school’s third-tier media rights.
A five-week review was conducted into the media rights bidding process, and though AG Patrick Morrisey reported finding no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, he cited several significant flaws. Morrisey recommended WVU rebid.
One of the flaws Morrisey cited involved the makeup of the committee changing during the bid process.
Luck told MetroNews in an interview they added three college professors halfway through the bidding process to add more input. He said the move was made because of time.
“We didn’t want to take too much of their time into this equation because it was fairly time-consuming to sit and listen to all the presentations,” said Luck. “We thought it made sense at that point to bring some professors in as we were kind of getting down to the top two or three companies in our bidding process.”
Luck added that the changing the makeup of the committee was a mistake.
The 24-page report also cited that two of the six members were not given an opportunity to vote on the winning proposal. In addition, communication between Luck and WVU Board of Governors chairman Drew Payne during the bidding process was cited in the report as violating confidentiality policies.
The university asked for the review to be conducted after ethical questions were raised regarding the process. The procurement process awarded IMG College WVU’s third-tier media rights contract in January.
Luck said they realize what they did wrong and plan to address those issues in the next bidding process.
“We certainly respect the attorney general and the work that he’s done and we’ll look forward to rebidding this,” said Luck.
Luck said he could not specify when the rebidding process would begin.
In addition to involving one football game per season, several non-conference basketball games, plus the broadcasts of non-revenue sports like baseball, soccer, tennis and gymnastics, this third-tier package also includes radio broadcasts, weekly coaches’ shows, stadium sponsorships and online content.