CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The lawsuit filed by West Virginia Radio Corporation against the West Virginia University Board of Governors and several other parties over the bidding out of the university’s third-tier media rights will continue following a judge’s order.

(Read judge’s order here)

Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Evans has rejected WVU’s motion for summary judgment. Evans said the defendants didn’t meet the requirements of such a motion.

“The court is of the opinion that, under these circumstances, with the verified allegations of fraud, collusion, civil conspiracy, and arbitrary and capricious conduct, issues of material fact exist on several important issues, one of which is whether WVU BOG possessed the unqualified right to cancel the RFP process,” Judge Evans wrote.

WVRC had asked Evans to stop WVU from implementing a 12-year contract with IMG College worth $86.5 million. The company claims the contract, signed in June after a second round of bidding, should be stricken because of fraudulent missteps by the university—and specifically athletics director Oliver Luck—during the first round of bidding.

WVRC’s suit charges Luck with “improperly, incompetently, and unlawfully managing the media rights RFP process.” WVRC claims the university subsequently tailored the second media rights bidding “to render WV Media’s partner, IMG College, the only qualified bidder, thereby transforming the RFP process into a sham.”

The judge’s latest order focuses on the second round of bidding on the third-tier contract. The judge said in denying the motion of summary judgment he was persuaded by case law:

“The process of managing and marketing the Third Tier Media rights by WVU BOG is of high public interest and importance. The public, and the bidders, fairly expect that the State officials administering the process will act with integrity and fairness,” Evans wrote. “Where it is alleged that this did not occur, the public interest in the fair administration of the process is not served by a law that allows WVU BOG merely to cancel the RFP and issue another, particularly, where, as here, it is alleged that the second RFP was “tailored” to meet the bid of IMG COLLEGE, LLC.”

Judge Evans denied West Virginia Radio’s motion in August for a temporary injunction but also denied the motions from 10 defendants to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit continues in the discovery stage. The trial date has been set for Dec. 2014.

(Allan Taylor contributed to this report)

 

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Comments

  • BH

    I really don't know which side of this argument is right or wrong. But I do know this, the IMG radio "network" is a joke.

  • ron50flys

    Hey guys I live out of state and used to listen to all the wvu broadcasts ONLINE....No More,
    IMG saw to that.....

    • Greg

      Use the "Tune In Radio" app on your smart phone or Ipad and listen to a wide variety of IMG or WVRC stations if you prefer. I usually listen on 104.5FM in Bluefield. It works great! I live in NC and never missed a game.

  • MB

    IMG IS HORRIBLE! The quality of the programming they put on the air has a lot to be desired. Cannot be rid them soon enough.

  • OKANYDAY

    When one sits back and looks at the "lay of the land" in this matter, something doesn't really pass the smell test. I'm not alleging anything, but I can surely see a unusual trail of misconduct here for several reasons starting with Oliver Luck. Oliver was an outstanding student and athlete here at WVU, we agree on that I trust. With that said, as AD I think Luck has put WVU in some less than pleasant situations. First, was the scramble to get to the BIG12 at all cost. The BIG12 is really not a good fit for our WVU teams and fans; but our zeal not to be left behind put us in a power 5 conference. Who knows what would have happened if we would have stayed in the BIG EAST; I do know we would have picked up about $ 25 to $ 30 million if we had stayed, due to what WVU would have received in the breakup of the BIG EAST. Secondly, I don't like the fact that Luck interviewed for the TEXAS AD job, because LUCK's job here at WVU has a long way to go to be on stable ground; it was Luck who brought Holgosen here to be head coach; and Holgosen has a long way to go to be on firm footing with a good football program. In other word's, I'm thinking Luck would like to get the hell away from WV University as AD, if he could do so. Thirdly, something was not handled properly by Luck in the biding of WVU's third tier rights. I'm not taking sides, because WVU needs all the monies from their third tier media rights to operate our athletic programs. Nevertheless, something does not pass the smell test in this media bidding matter. In closing, I think Luck introducing the selling of beer in the football stands at WVU has brought on many more problems, then there were without beer sales prior. It is miserable setting in the WVU stands and drunks fighting, cursing and using vulgarity in front of families and kids, and all those who came to the stadium in good faith to support the Mountaineers and enjoy the moment. It just seems like it's one thing after another with our major sports. We cannot run from these problems; we need to deal with them quickly, and I'm not sure Oliver wants to be here to deal with them. My opinion only !

    • jtwvu87

      I stopped reading your post as soon as you said Big East. You are crazy if you think wvu should not have been in a rush to get the hell out of the big least. It was a sinking ship and obviously Luck did the best thing for our university; gained entry into a power conference that will be paying wvu north of 29 - 35 million dollars. I am a graduate of wvu living in Louisiana & I watch my alma mater almost every Saturday during football season. Further, playing the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, etc is on the level of the highest of college football vs USF, UConn, UC, etc..We are now in a power conference & if we win, then there is no doubt we could gain entry into the new CFB Major Playoffs..

    • Palmetto King

      Had WVU stayed in what is left of the defunct Big East would have been a huge mistake from all fronts. We would have had little too no regional or national TV coverage during football (we all know football pays the bills not basketball. Also TV is huge for recruiting) financially we're much better off in the Big 12, and potential ties with BCS conf for going bowling. I could go on and on; however, I don't think Holgerson was the right TEacher/coach we needed at this juncture. This move is going to take a few years of recruiting and building to get our legs under us. I am as frustrated as anyone, but no way will I ever believe staying in the Big Loser conf would have benefitted WV.

      Once an Eeer always an Eeer in SC

    • Steve

      Staying in the big east of which doesn't even exist anymore would have been great. WVU would be making $2 mil per year in revenue sharing instead of 30. And event better, WVU would still get to travel to Texas to play football. It just would have been against smu and Houston instead of Texas and Baylor.

      Brilliant thinking on your part.

      • Greg

        Very good post Steve. I enjoyed reading it. But you should know better than to bring common sense to this site. What isn't censored by those hired to protect JR will make people of the same thoughts as OKANYDAY and Billy's heads explode.

      • OKANYDAY

        No one knows where WVU would have ended up if we had not gone to the BIG12. After all the shuffling, look where Louisville, Maryland and Rutgers are going !

        • Steve

          That's right no one knows where they would have ended up. So Oliver luck took the sure thing and the additional $30 million.

          Sometimes it's just next to say thank you instead of doubting someone who was being proactive and at the forefront of the realignment movement that was sweeping the college football world.

          Thankfully he didn't sit around and wait or even worse watch things happen like DO Nothing Hamrick did. That is the AD of your favorite school...correct?

        • Rick S.

          I bet Louisville is thanking its lucky stars right now that the Big 12 took WVU instead of Louisville.

          • Rick S.

            You might be right, Steve. But on the other hand, some schools make decisions based on more than just a television contract. Let's give it five years and see how things work out for Louisville in the ACC.

          • Steve

            I doubt it...big 12's television contract is much bigger

          • Greg

            Being a North Carolinian I hope Louisville and Syracuse dominate the ACC in basketball. But they won't. UNC calls the shots even to the extent a former UNC AD runs the show. The first time a 7-5 or 6-6 ND team bumps Clemson or FSU out of an upper tier bowl game, they're off to the Big 12. Not even a $50M buyout or ESPN will be able to stop them. The ACC is and will be the most dysfunctional conference in the history of college sports. Doubt it even exists in ten year's time.

    • Billy

      Very good post, I enjoyed reading it.

  • DWM

    I appreciate WV Radio for standing up in this case. Certainly they did it for selfish reasons, but in doing so, they have served the needs of the people of WV.

    My biggest beef is with IMG. Trying to find a game, whether it is football or basketball, on the radio is a lot more difficult than it should be.

    • Brandon

      It is harder than it should be because WV Radio won't carry the games.

      • True WVU Fan

        Brandon, WV Radio isn't carrying the games because IMG contracted with other stations and wouldn't use WV Radio. WV Radio offered to carry the games, in court and under oath so the majority of the states fans could hear them and both WVU and IMG declined the offer

        • Realist

          Yeah that makes sense...what do expect IMG to say"oh, you're suing us and still want to carry the games we broadcast so you can make money off us?"

          • JL

            Makes money off us? Who, IMG? WVU? The radio stations that run WVU athletics bring more to the table than WVU sports ever will. Sports broadcasting is a minor part of a broadcast schedule - less than 1%. It is the radio stations and the audience they bring that puts value into WVU audio programming. Align with second tier radio stations and you end up with a second tier radio network. Enter IMG College.

  • THE MEB

    What I find ironic is #1. that WVRC is the only local concern that has the money, and enough power, controlling most of Morgantown and surrounding areas media, to go up against WVU who has only acted like a poor steward to Morgantown by increasing student size to 33,000 they have crippled the roads and other infrastructure around Morgantown, because they own city council they have bought up whatever pleases them in a huge land grab, subsequently taking millions from the coffers of Morgantown's tax base because they are tax free.
    Prior to WVRC losing the bid for media rights the radio and newspaper sports reporters were laid out to dry because of their big contract with WVU. Did you ever notice the big stories always came from Pittsburgh media, for instance who did Bill Stewart allegedly go to try to get some dirt on Holgerson? Colin Dunlap of The FAN in Pittsburgh. Were you ever curious why he didn't work with the local boys?
    However, now WVRC doesn't have the media rights they are trying to make WVU Athletic Dept. look very bad.
    The irony didn't escape me.

    • Bradford

      Colin Dunlap is a former reports for the Dominion Post before taking his job with the WFAN. Just saying.

  • Imgrill

    Maybe if they wanted to broadcast games they should have bid more. Maybe put togeather a better deal. Stop waisting the states money with this endless BS. Be like Larry and William. Take your but kicking and become Marshall supporters. I can listen to every game football and basketball. Never saw any issue with the switch. Most games are on tv and I can watch nearly every game easily. You have 12 years to get a bid togeather. I'm sure Larry has it all worked out. Just saying.

    • True WVU Fan

      You obviously don't know much about the actual bids. Over the 10 year period the WV Radio was as good or better

    • Rick S.

      Imgrill, I am glad you can listen to every football and basketball game on radio. But a lot of people in the state (who used to) can not now, and some of those people have an issue with the switch. Just saying, it has not worked out well for everyone.

      • Steve

        IMG does not own Ny radio stations in wv, IMG reached out to wv radio to use it's stations for broadcasting the games. They turned the offer down. When WVU originally awarded the 3rd tier rights to IMG, the manager of wv radio sentt IMG a letter congratulating them and stated how they were looking forward to working with them in the future.

        Those are undisputed facts.

        • True WVU Fan

          Steve. IMG did not reach out to WV Radio. WV Radio offered to carry the games and both IMG and WVU declined. Sorry but you are incorrect.

        • JL

          WVRC did not turn down any offer from IMG because WVRC did not receive any offer from IMG. That was Oliver Luck BS through the Daily Mail reporter who prints his every utterance.

          If you think WVRC did not want to continue to do the games after 70 years - with all the equity they had built into the brand - you are bat s--t crazy!

        • Bross

          Excellent post. Most of the people on here are morans. Stay in the Big East? How stupid and uninformed can someone be to suggest we stay in the Big East? 7 million vs 30 million?

          You can also think WV Radio for you not being able to hear the games. They were offered a deal to carry the games and refused. Mater if fact they have purchased stations for the sole reason on blocking access to the games.

          I would rather lose to Texas in overtime than beat UCONN. Either u play with the big boys or u stay home. So quit your crying!

          I for one am glad WVU took the 35 million dollars from the Big 12 and IMG. You can watch Marshall on CBS Sports channel 500 and "who cares"

        • Rick S.

          Did you actually read the letter? Was it sent by regular mail?

  • Fed Up

    Oliver Luck has done nothing but stir up trouble and just about price the average person out of all sporting events at WVU..

  • William

    Get em' JR Get em' and don't let them come up for air!
    WVU officials were very shady and corrupt
    You have the goods on them, they will settle with you. BIG BUCKS TO WVRC

  • cutty77

    On and On The Merry Go Round goes,where it stops nobody knows.No wonder people make fun of West Virginia. This only Happens in West Virginia. lol

    • True WVU Fan

      Cutty77

      I think the writing is on the wall or in the court case on this one. It seems pretty obvious that Luck and Mr. Payne and their good ole boys got caught with their hands in the cookie jar this time. Not only did the screw up the rights process by rigging it, but this IMG has done a horrible job with the radio programs. You can't hear the games in many parts of the state and when you can, the programming is terrible. They need to bring back the old gang, with Hoopy and the crew. And get the rest of the radio stations back. Hoopy and his crew are doing their own programs and they are much better plus you can actually hear them. I'm sure this whole mess is why Luck didn't get the Texas job. Mr. Luck, if you are reading this, admit your mistakes and lets get this mess straightened up. Us true Mountaineer fans just want to be able to listen to the the voices we know and love because they are the guys who know this team and state, plus we want to be able to hear the games.

      • James

        You can hear Hoppy and crew because they own most of the good signals in the state. They had a chance to get the games and continue to work with WVU, but they decided to cry and boo hoo instead.

        • 1smartone

          I must be the odd man out. I like the IMG broadcasts. The Jeff Culhane that came from Nebraska is great and so is Wolfley. Then you get Toni, Dwight, and Jed during the game. Some of you are just complaining because you have to change the radio station.

          • Cuttey

            I agree, I like the IMG broadcast. They must be doing something right because they represent a huge number of schools. None of those schools or fan bases are complaining.....or none that I discovered. It's strange that this such huge issue here.

      • Steve

        Youre a Marshall fan...lol at you!

      • Joe

        Agree 100 percent.

        • Greg

          Anybody who wants to watch the games on TV can just order the sports package from their cable provider that includes Root Sports Pittsburgh and about a half dozen other FSN channels that carry our games.

          Anybody who wants to hear the games can just download the "Tune In Radio" app on your smartphone or IPad, look up a list of IMG stations on the computer and listen to any one of them no matter where they're located. It also works for some WVRC stations too.

          You can also pick out one of those station's website on your computer or IPad, click on and listen online. I watch MetroNews Sportsline on my IPad every chance I get even though I live in NC. If you're posting on here you can obviously figured out how to work a computer.

          Please note that if you have difficulty doing any of above, just go find a four year old to walk you through the process and quit bellyaching about it!

    • Bandit

      Especially when we've got idiots like William running around.