MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia Radio Corp., which did not enter the second round of bidding for WVU’s third-tier media rights, wants the university to unveil the original bid files, according to a protest filed Wednesday.

In a 17-page document sent to WVU’s director of procurement Brenda Mowen, WVRC restated last month’s request for a hearing involving athletics director Oliver Luck, Board of Governors chairman Andrew Payne, state attorney general Patrick Morrisey and procurement office member Tim Bostonia.

Luck and Payne were found to have engaged in inappropriate communications during the original bidding period, resulting in a process Morrisey said was marked by “significant errors and sloppiness.” Payne owns a stake in West Virginia Media, which partnered on IMG’s winning bid in January. IMG’s proposal was disqualified — and all competing bids tossed out — upon the revelation that Payne received confidential information from Luck, according to emails obtained from a freedom-of-information request.

University president Jim Clement removed Luck from the committee evaluating the second round of bidding, and likewise, Payne recused himself this time. However, WVRC contends the latest request-for-proposal (RFP) — at 92 pages, far more detailed than the original —was “tailored to cater” to IMG and West Virginia Media. The new proposal apparently reflects plans the school made with IMG College before irregularities came to light and the negotiations were stalled. The revised RFP calls for bids to be returned by June 18, followed by bidder presentations June 28 and notification of a winner in August.

WVRC, the parent company of MetroNews, is owned by John Raese, a WVU graduate whose criticism of the bidding improprieties led to Morissey’s investigation.

WVRC’s latest protest also seeks to have Mowen barred from considering it, on the basis she ignored university policy by refusing to grant a hearing last month. (The protest cites WVU procurement rule 7.2.4: “In the event the protestor requests a hearing on the merits of the protest, the Chief Procurement Officer shall set a time and place for the hearing.”)

What’s more, WVRC contends that Mowen now be recused from overseeing the third-tier rebidding.

Clarksburg attorney Frank Simmerman, counsel for WVRC, stated in the company’s protest that:

  • Allowing IMG and WV Media to participate in the rebidding of multimedia rights “constitutes turning a blind eye to confirmed breaches of public trust and confidence.”
  • “IMG and WV Media have a tarnished record which cannot simply be cast aside or otherwise shielded by a re-bid.”
  • “Five innocent bidders spent substantial time and money initially participating” in the third-tier proposal process.

Third-tier rights 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.

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Comments

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  • Bill

    I really hate this. It's like a nasty fight within your family.

    I support WVU, Luck, and Metronews. Obviously people at WVU are thinking more about $$$, which isn't really a "bad thing". But on the other hand, we're talking about "MetroNews". Statewide Sportsline, Point After, Coaches' Show, pre-game show, etc... Does this mean there's a chance some outsiders could come to town and take over those shows??? MetroNews is WVU to me. I don't want the on-air personalities to change.

  • 1smartone

    Bottom Line: This is about money...and ONLY about money. The above posters who talk about integrity being the motivating factor are blinded by whatever side they are standing on. The university has "leaked" IMG's bid. So any and all comers go big or go home. All other talk is just that....talk to smear the other person. We lost donations from our Arizona guy for a while over the RR thing. He is seemingly back on board now. JR will go pout in the corner for a while...then he'll be back. If not, he doesn't have near the integrity you posters are spewing about.

  • no fan of luck

    luck must go he is the root of all the problems

  • cutty77

    I want someone from WVRC please tell What your fine Company payed WVU. Pick any year.All this lets put everthing on the table,be fair and Balanced. Does ANYBODY KNOW THAT AMOUNT? Please Enlighten us on this. LOL

    • Wilson

      cutty77, The only thing WVRC has ever owned the rights to is the Coaches programs on radio. The rights fees paid for those, I'm sure, are public knowledge. WVU can surely tell you what that amount is..... All other 3rd tier rights have always been owned by WVU itself including, TV games, all radio games, pre-game, in-game and post-game, program ads, in stadium signage, ticket backs, etc. MSN (WVU) has always owned all of these products and has always kept 100% of all revenue generated by these. WVRC has never owned any of them, except the coach's programs on Radio. If you check this out, you will find it to be 100% true.

      • Alum

        You seem to be claiming to know much about this. Do us a favor and point us to the sources; provide the links. Or do we just take your word?

        • Wilson

          You can verify the facts of this situation via West Virginia University. They will tell you that WVRC has only had the rights to the coach's radio programs and that WVRC has NEVER owned the 3rd tier rights. They will tell you that WVU (MSN) has always held the 3rd tier rights in-house and that WVU has kept 100% of the profits for all parts of the 3rd tier rights except for those generated by the coach's programs on radio, for which WVRC paid a rights fee. If you truly want to know, you can do the research, as some of us have. If you just want to complain and fuss about WVRC trying to do their job and attempt to maintain some integrity for our university....then forget actually doing any research and keep complaining....

          • cutty77

            I know this several years ago after Huggs went to the final four,and the Football team won The Fiesta Bowl.WVRC told WVU they had lost money on WVU.Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha Those years were some WVU best Years.

          • Alum

            Based on your comments you say you did the work; all I asked is share the links.

  • Habib Haddad

    Call me silly, but I think the highest bid would benefit the University and the state best. Higher bids would assure more inventory for West Virginian's to watch and listen to because the successful bidder would have to provide more product to assure a profit. Since IMG doesn't have a radio station in West Virginia, WV Radio Corp would be the logical choice for the radio inventory. They may even get the inventory for less than the deal they had with Eddie and Mike Parsons. Let the process play out. WVRC has the option of our sterling court system as a last resort.

    • Habib Haddad

      As a side note to this, should IMG be the successful bidder and should IMG desire that WVRC provide the radio outlets, let us see where Mr. Raese stands at that point. Does he refuse to accept WVU sports products and penalize West Virginia fans, or does he play ball and continue the profitability chain unabated?

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    it sounds shady on both sides, let go mountaineers!

  • Jim N Charleston

    I want to eat cookie dough & get washboard ABS, but to quote Mick Jagger "You can't always get what you want!"

    I believe some entities & folks are resembling Glen Close in a "Fatal Attraction" way more & more everyday.

  • Shadow

    The WVU President, Luck and the Procurement Division should fall on their sword. Is there any question that the first process was illegal? I have no dog in the fight but there doesn't seem to be any question that the process was flawed and dishonest.

    • Wilson

      Shadow, you are 100% correct. Why can't others see what is so very obvious?

    • cutty77

      Easy Shadow. Procurement Division. Does WVRC have a Procurement Division? Maybe thats why WVRC lost the Bid. I love it when you use those 50.cents word on Here.This is more fun than a Barrel of Weenies. lol

      • Wilson

        cutty77,

        this is in response to your comment above where you say "I know this several years ago after Huggs went to the final four,and the Football team won The Fiesta Bowl.WVRC told WVU they had lost money on WVU.Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha. That is absolutely NOT true....how do I know its not true because WVRC has NEVER owned the rights to WVU. Do you not understand. WVRC has NEVER, let me repeat that NEVER owned the 3rd tier rights to WVU. WVU has always owned the rights. So it would be impossible to lose money on something you never owned in the first place. Why do you insist on misleading people?? If you can't be honest then why post at all. It just makes you look like you don't know what you are talking about.....cause you don't.

        • cutty77

          @ wilson,
          Your comment is not worth a Reply.

          • Wilson

            You have no valid reply to my comment becuase everything I stated is 100% true. If you care to do the research you will see that everything I have stated is true. However, you won't. For whatever reasons....you will continue to bash WVRC and their owners........in spite of the facts of this issue. Bash on cutty77, just remember the truth will always win.

          • 1smartone

            He didn't say they were losing money on their 3rd tier media rights....he said they were losing money on the services they were providing. I don't know the validity of that information. But there is a difference.

          • cutty77

            Yes right around The Month of Aug. This Travesty will be Over for Good.

      • Shadow

        I was trying to be nice and I am sorry I used words you didn't understand. Maybe I should have called it the WVU "Luck and Payne share the Profit's Division" and everyone would have understood. The question that no one has asked is: Are all the proposals that WVU puts out for bid handled in the same way? There is an old adage that says, when there is smoke, there is fire. Luck's hand was caught in the cookie jar and he is getting away with it.

  • Bob

    Fact: WVRC did not care about the proper procurement process when they were unilaterally handed WVU's third tier media rights by Eddie Pastlong for the last 20-30 years.

    Fact: WVU made little if any profit from the cozy deal that added millions to John Raese's pockets.

    Fact: Always, Always...follow the money.

    • Wilson

      Bob,

      I'm sorry to inform you that you are incorrect. Here is a fact that has not been discussed - WVRC has NEVER owned the 3rd tier rights to WVU. The university itself has always owned the 3rd tier rights. (3rd tier rights include, signage on campus, in stadiums, some TV games and radio rights for in-game and coaches shows, game programs, etc.) The university has always kept 100% of the revenue generated by all of these items except the radio programs for the coaches, for which WVRC paid a rights fee. There was and has never been a "sweetheart" deal that everyone mentions. WVRC's satellite network has been the 'delivery vehicle' for MSN. (WVU owns MSN and 100% of all revenue produced by MSN went directly to West Virginia University.
      Sure, WVRC makes money by running the games on some of their radio stations, just like other radio companies across WV does. They are no different than other radio stations in WV that run the games. This is not about WVRC, it is about the integrity of our university and it seems that most folks who post here don't care about things like that. Everyone seems to put the blame on WVRC and its owners when the real problems are at the university itself.

      • Big John

        Real problem is not WVU but WVRC/

        • Will

          So you see no problem with bid rigging?

      • Bob

        Wilson

        You're the reason when a person is sworn to give testimony in a courtroom that they are told to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." You are correct when you a state that WVRC never owned WVU's third tier rights. In order to own something you must first pay for it...WVRC never spent one red cent to purchase WVU' third tier rights. These rights where provided free of charge to WVRC by MSN...with NO money up front. You are also correct with your statement "WVRC's satellite network has been the 'delivery vehicle' for MSN." However, any profits created by WVRC when they were "delivering" the product "owned" by WVU...was kept entirely by WVRC. The only thing that WVRC provided was a limited amount of advertising time that MSN could then sell and retain any profits realized. WVRC maintained for years that because they had to absorb all cost associated with the delivery of Mountaineer basketball and football that it more than made-up for any loss in profits that MSN failed to procure. In other words it was just the cost of doing business. Where this had become a sweet deal for Big John was that he was able to build and expand WVRC on the backs of MSN. Now Mr. Raese finds himself all dressed up and no where to go. I'm sure he is upset about losing his "special arrangement with MSN...it's not like he go out and find another deal like it with another University. Since you seem to know so much about such things perhaps you might be able to suggest another major university that would be willing to provide the same deal that WVRC had with MSN...good luck with that.
        My guess is that Raese has worked a deal with another bidder that would allow him to continue "delivering" WVU's radio product much like he has in the past...with little or no money up front. Raese is the typical modern day business man...he wants to privatize his profits and socialize his losses...like in the past with his sweet media deal with the "public" entity known as WVU.

        • Will

          Bob, I'm sorry but your entire scenario is backwards. Here is the FACTS:

          MSN (WVU) owned all 3 rd tier rights except the coach 's radio programs for which WVRC paid rights fee. WVU owned 100% of the advertising and kept 100% of the revenue from each of the following;

          Pre-game, In-game, post-game, in stadium, program ads, scoreboard, ticket backs, and every other advertising opportunity. WVRC held the rights to only the radio coach's programs. Anyone can confirm this with one call to WVU. Not sure why you are trying to mislead folks but you have no idea what you are talking about.

          If you can't get the facts straight, please don't attempt to mislead. Again I ask, why are you wanting condone the actions of some at WVU, when even the AG said there were major errors. Anyone who reads his report will see that the actions of some At WVU were obviously to insure that their preferred bidder would win. Read without bias and you too will come to the same conclusion

    • cutty77

      @Bob,
      They have deleted 2 of my comments,so about all i can get away with is. RIGHT ON BOB, LOL

  • Mike

    If John Raese loves this state so much he needs to back off. Oh wait he only loves it when he is seeking public office. He got what he wanted which was a rebid now he isn't even going to send a bid in. What a joke. I look to wvmetronews for what is going on in my beloved state but wondering very seriously if I should ever log on or listen to them on the radio again.

    • Wilson

      So, if you love your state and your university, you should step away and let it operate in any manner it feels, even if it's actions are wrong and border on criminal? I believe that If you love something you should support it and help in any way you can to insure that its reputation is not damaged beyond repair.

  • tony

    if youre not bidding this time, youre just out to make trouble..whatever you want to waste your time on to try to bring down ollie cause jr thinks he did him wrong..yes this is news...i guess.... this is one of the only places left where people get off on this type of contention..enjoy yourself and you will see what you get for it..you cannot possibly have anything good come out of coming from here.. look in the mirror please

  • Woodchuck

    Why was the protest meeting not granted according to the WVU rules?

    Lucky got caught with his hand in the jar of shine.

    • Wilson

      Really confused as to why most of the people that are posting here don't take an honest look at the facts in this situation:

      Fact: WV Radio Corp ownership accuses WVU of mishandling of bid process

      Fact: AD Luck and Mr. Payne communicated multiple times during the process which was a direct violation of the bidding policy itself

      Fact: AD Luck changed the composition of the evaluation committee after not getting the number of affirmative votes he wanted/needed from the original committee

      Fact: WV Attorney General investigates and concurs that “significant errors and sloppiness.” occurred and recommended that WVU re-bid

      Fact: to prove they are not just 'crying over spilled milk' WV Radio Corp ownership says they will not bid if 3rd tier rights are re-bid..

      Fact: WV Radio Corp does not bid, as promised

      Fact: New bid specs are created which ironically look very similar to IMG's original bid

      Fact: WV Radio Corp ownership requests hearing with WVU concerning the issue based on WVU's own hearing policy

      Fact: WVU ignores request and also ignores Freedom of information act requests to make public all bids

      Come on folks, doesn't anyone else here smell a rat. WV Radio Corp did not bid. They know they will not have the rights.....so they can't be doing this to, as some suggest, somehow get the rights again. They didn't bid = they won't have rights. that is a given. So, why would they continue to probe?? Maybe, just maybe, their goal is to make sure that our university does things in the correct and honest manner. I personally don't see anything wrong with 'doing the right thing'. In this case, if the ownership of WV Radio Corp wants to spend their money to insure that our university maintains some sort of integrity, then good for them. We all should want the same thing.

      • Big John

        Bids are awarded to the highest bidder. No one needs to know the specifics of each part. The main thing is the total amount of money WVU will receive. Once the bids are in and awarded this will become public knowledge.

      • Rick

        Wilson, thank you for being a voice of reason in what is otherwise a cacophony of nonsense.

        This entire situation could have been avoided had WVU followed its own rules and acted honestly and uprightly from the beginning. Yes indeed, integrity is still a virtue.

      • Alum

        You missed one. Fact: WV AG stated WVU did not have to bid it in the first place.

        • Allan Taylor

          Morrisey did mention that technically WVU could have avoided bidding out the third-tier rights, but several sources I've spoken to from within the school and the industry said the RFP was completely necessary and always will be in situations like this. First, it is meant to stamp out cronyism. Second, you don't want $100-million contracts being extended without competitive bidding, because, in instances like this, the school might be leaving money on the table if it doesn't assess full market value.

          • Big John

            By your statement implies that cronism did exist prior to Oliver Luck. Need to find out if payments were made to certain peopleand if so they should be stripped of their pensions and serve jail time for their misdeeds.

          • Alum

            Lovely, but let's focus on what the AG said. Did he say it or not? If he did (and he did) was he correct or wrong? Allan I'm not arguing if it was right or wrong, I am just stating what the AG said publicly. Obviously now that light is being shown on the WHOLE situation it certainly appears a form of cronyism went on for years that directly benefited your ultimate boss.

          • Unconvinced

            Allan,

            It was necessary in making sure you recieved the most amount of money...not by procurement

            Also Cronyism? Like the first 25 years of this deal with WV Radio? Also Allan could you honestly report that there were NO OTHER conflict between WVRadio and the athletic dept during this rights deal?

      • Unconvinced

        Wilson--

        Fact: They didn't say they wouldn't subcontract out the radio rights (hence why they don't have to bid)

        Fact: There are some other tie ins between athletics and WVRadio

        Fact: This isn't a procurement anyway, so what WVRadio is asking for isn't in the WVU Rules

        Fact: The only reason this was bid out was not to be fair but to make sure they were getting the most money possible from the deal

      • WVU 74

        Wilson,

        The smell from the WVU 3rd Tier Rights bidding process is putrid all the way here in Atlanta.

        What is the huge problem WVU has with doing things right, the first time?!?

        Thank you for listing the Fact(s).

      • tw eagle

        fact , if nothing happens with the RFP and out sourcing , greer keeps handling the broadcast and coverage rights at the same bargain basement price he has been paying - that's just he wants - keep milking the 'cashcow ' WVU sports . . .

        my suspicious nature makes me think that AD Luck is having difficulty side stepping the WVU officials that have been corrupted by greer industry 'perks'
        raese has been around too long not to have 'helped' a few individuals in key WVU positions . . .

        • Big John

          Agree completely. Need to investigate prior biddings prior to Oliver Luck and WVRC with previous Administration and Athletic Department. WVU then may be able to recoup Millions from WV Media and Greer industrics via WVRC. Allen may be charged to investigate him as he was a good investigative reporter at one time and may still have the fire to do a great job of investigative reporting. What perks did former athletic Director and assistant receive if any from Greer or other companies associated with WVRC.

        • big tom

          totally agree

      • Dave

        If they had paid up for years in the first place, it may never have come to the bid to begin with. He wants to hurt WVU and that is the plain simple truth!

        • Fred

          Paid what? And to whom?

        • Wilson

          Dave, with all due respect, how does WV Radio Corp's actions hurt WVU? Seems to me by making sure things are done honestly and properly, and with 100% transparency, this would help WVU not hurt them. I would think that anyone who truly cares about WVU would want the "good ole boy" actions and "we can do anything we want, no matter what the law or our own policy states" ...to go away. Call me crazy, but I would like for our university to maintain its integrity at any cost.

          • big tom

            wvradiocorp needs to just fade away, sick and tired of hearing them whine

  • big tom

    get rid of wvmedia... sick and tired of hearing about them,, a scorned step child,, just go away