MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University on Tuesday issued a “revised request for proposals” for the university’s third-tier sponsorship and media rights. The rebid comes nearly a month after West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey found “significant errors and sloppiness” by WVU in the original process.
The university said the revised process will include a “new evaluation committee, a new procurement liaison, an external legal advisor from the Attorney General’s office and an updated proposal.” All bids are due June 18.
This time the process will be led by the university’s chief procurement officer Brenda Mowen, not athletics director Oliver Luck, who was cited by Morrisey for divulging confidential information and making ill-timed changes to the evaluation committee in the first bidding cycle. Other members of the evaluation committee also will not be included in the second round of evaluations.
The university asked the attorney general to review the original bid process after ethical questions were raised by John Raese, owner of West Virginia Radio Corp. — the parent company of MetroNews.
IMG College won the bidding, reportedly with a 12-year deal worth $110 million. The ethical questions centered on “inappropriate” communication between Luck and WVU Board of Governor’s chairman Drew Payne.
Payne is stakeholder West Virginia Media, which participated in IMG College’s presentation and stood to profit from the deal as a subcontractor.
The WVU statement says, “All bids will be sealed and will remain confidential–along with all comments and discussion concerning the solicitation.”
Morrisey said he welcomed the opportunity for his office to be involved. “This Office is happy to provide assistance to the University as it moves forward with the revised request to ensure the process is as seamless as possible,”
Third-tier rights typically involve any TV broadcasts of football games that are not picked up by a major network, several non-conference basketball games, as well as radio broadcasts, coaches’ shows, stadium sponsorships and online content.