Metronews’ Allan Taylor reports that WVU and long-time Deputy Director of Athletics Mike Parsons are parting company, and it’s not an amicable separation.

Neither side is saying anything, but sources tell Metronews that Athletic Director Oliver Luck stripped Parsons of his responsibilities.  Parsons hired a lawyer and considered suing the University, but instead agreed to a settlement.

Apparently Parsons will be paid through June 30th.

Before you read more you need to know that I have a serious conflict of interest here.  Parsons and I have been friends for 35 years.  As executive producer of the now defunct Mountaineer Sports Network, he was my supervisor.

Additionally, our company is in a legal fight with the University over how the third tier media rights were allocated.

So stop here if you like, or read on for my perspective.  Your choice.

I often hear WVU leaders talk about service, the concept that life’s purpose is greater than the individual’s immediate desires.  That mission makes the University an engine for good.

For more than three decades, Mike Parsons made thousands of decisions, and I believe he always made the best interest of the University his top priority.  The temptations of selfishness and ego were supplanted by his rock solid allegiance to the Gold and Blue.

His tenure was marked by integrity, professionalism and dedication. His nights and weekends were spent at WVU sporting events, hundreds of them, helping make sure they ran smoothly.   Glad-handing was never his strong suit, and that cost him with some moneyed alums whose avocations include meddling in athletic department affairs.

Eventually, he ran afoul of Luck on the media rights issue.  His candid testimony about how the first bid process was mismanaged contributed to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s decision to order a do-over.

So doing the right thing means finding yourself squeezed out with, yes, a sizable check, but also a damaged reputation.  Is that the new order of the state’s flagship institution?  I always wanted to believe that WVU was better than that.

Parsons will land a job somewhere in athletics.  His credentials are strong enough to withstand WVU’s ham-handed treatment.  The larger question, however, is what about the reputation of WVU’s athletic department?


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  • takemetoemstar

    hop - surely you are not that naïve to know that the business world is a harsh, harsh, place. work place politics go on every day. I agree with you that this smells afoul once his testimony was on the record.... but as I stated before in this forum, you either get on board with the new regime or you are OUT! I would pose this... what if you started going against or working against John Raese in his vision or policies with regard to WV Radio, etc.??

  • Mike

    Hey Hop,

    Why no column about the way Rick Johnson was unceremoniously dumped by WV Radio Corp. after 40+ years of service? Did he get a buyout too? If so, let's hear the details.

  • Dale hostuttler

    I totally agree with Hoppy,I had high hopes in the beginning when Luck was first hired. Now I just wish he would be fired.

  • Mitch

    @ Lawtalk,
    You are lying through your teeth. WVU had to absorb ALL production costs under WVRC.....something they DO NOT have to do with IMG.
    But then you already knew that, that's why you disabled the "REPLY" function on your post. I smell a rat. I think you are a WVRC employee.

  • cutty77

    Mike Parsons is such a loyal Guy,hes getting every penny he can from WVU,just like Eddie did. 2 Peas in a Pod. Those Nice Sweatheart Deals. Oh I'm sure he was wronged in some way. Its 2014 lets move on. Oliver has done a Great Job of cleaning out the place.

  • Big John

    WVU will be fine now that I feel the leak in that athletic department is gone. I feel he should have been dismissed at the time Luck came on board. Do you know how hard it is to do a job when you could be stabbed in the back. WVU in my opinion have lost millions of dollars because of Pastilong and Parsons. The truth will be borrne out someday.

  • BigMo

    Forbes article nailed it. Most miserable Small City in America.

  • Chef Camille

    Yeah Booth will be the favorite political hack to make hay out of this.

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  • Mitch

    Who the **** is Mike Parsons, and why was he ever in this position of power in the first place?

  • Mitch

    Parsons was a power-drunk little Tin Dictator, who actually believed that he was bigger than the program. King Louie on his Little Half-Acre.

  • Dave in SA

    Hoppy…..Normally I agree with you on almost all of your commentaries. I like WVRC. I like the programming. I like the commentators and news people. I like 580 AM. I like what WVRC has done with the 3-6pm time slot with Dave Weekley.

    But WVRC has done the same thing that WVU had to do.

    WVRC got rid of Rick Johnson ( I know Rick) a dedicated long time employee who was approaching 60 and had been with WVRC for many years of dedicated service. His show was "old" and probably some consultant came in and said we needed a change. He was dismissed, probably with some compensation because of his age and WVRC wanted to avoid a law suit.
    Business is business.

    Mike Parsons (and I know him, also) is the same situation. He can be quite contentious. He was the "no" man. When Eddie had Bob Huggins interviewed the first time…..pre Dakitch and Beilein. Huggy turned down the job, in part, because of Mike Parsons. Mike can be very hard on people. He was expendable because Ed Pastilong is no longer around. Now Mike is gone. Business is Business.

    Oliver Luck is the best for WVU. As another poster has stated. Why would Stanford and Texas want him? Why is he the representative on the new College Championship?

    Look at IMG's resume. Look at their client list. Very good company.

    WVU was only one of four schools in the nation to handle it's own media rights. WVRC has made a fortune off of WVU. John Raese and WVRC is the company that it is because,in part, of WVU's success. And WVRC is a very good company. But change happens.

    We are in the Big XII when no one wanted us.
    Think UConn and Cincy.

    Business is Business.

  • Luck Saved Us

    After reading this, how could some of you people defend this man?

    • The bookman

      A very non informative article from 6 years ago. I'll take a chance on 35 years of steady success. Is it time for Parsons to leave? Sure it is. Has he made some enemies across 35 years? Sure he has. Does that justify hit pieces from bleacherreport? Not hardly!

  • Charles

    So much miss/confusing information in the comments. He said, she said. This amount, that amount . What do I know? NOTHING ABOUT THIS TOPIC! Why? Wasn't apart of the process and not privy to any documents, statements, etc. etc. Let the courts settle it! Everything else is cannon fodder