West Virginia University is moving quickly on its plans to rebid its third-tier media rights.
A university spokesman told MetroNews Tuesday WVU has notified all of the companies that placed bids last year that the rebidding will take place.
There were nine companies that submitted proposals in the original process including IMG, West Virginia Radio Corp., Learfield, NBC and Fox.
There’s still no word on when it will happen or who will be on the review committee. WVU spokesman John Bolt said it would be a freshly constituted committee.
There’s also no word if WVU athletics director Oliver Luck will once again lead the committee that chose IMG College last December. Negotiations had started when WVU suspended the process after questions were raised by Morgantown businessman and West Virginia Radio Corp. owner John Rease.
WVU asked state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to review the process and he released his report Monday, recommending the university rebid. Part of that report showed Luck made his share of mistakes in the initial bidding. Luck’s decision to add members to the review committee after the review of the proposals had started was questioned by Morrisey, along with the AD’s consistent conversations with WVU Board of Governors chairman Drew Payne, who had a conflict of interest.
Morrisey’s report says both Payne and fellow BOG member David Alvarez should have recused themselves from third-tier conversations because of their conflicts with West Virginia Media Holdings, a company that was part of the IMG College proposal.
Luck agreed the communications with Payne were improper. Payne said he hopes the board of governors can fine-tune its process “so we can do a better job of identifying possible conflicts or problems going forward.”
Morrisey concluded the conversations didn’t impact the evaluation or selection process.
Members of the BOG are appointed by the governor and can be removed by the governor, though the process isn’t easy.
State code stipulates a member of a higher education governing board cannot be removed by the governor except for “official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality and then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal of the state elective officers by the governor.” And that could include a hearing before the governor with possible witnesses and documented evidence. There’s also an appeal process.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office hasn’t commented on Morrisey’s report.