CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state Lottery Commission is lending staff to the state Athletics Commission in an attempt to help the small agency get its house in order.
State Revenue Secretary Charles Lorensen appointed Lottery Director John Musgrave as deputy revenue secretary in February, giving him oversight of the state's Lottery, Racing and Athletics commissions as well as the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.
In June, Musgrave began working with Athletics Commission members to make the group more efficient.
Musgrave said the commission has five volunteer members with day jobs, a $51,000 annual operating budget and no staff.
Yet, the commission is responsible for regulating all amateur, professional and semi-professional boxing matches in the state, as well as mixed martial arts bouts.
"They've just been running it on their own time and dedication because they're dedicated to the sport," he said.
A few months ago, Musgrave assigned one of the Lottery Commission's financial officers and attorneys to the Athletics Commission.
He also is working with members to make sure they schedule and advertise meetings properly, prepare an agenda and follow proper meeting procedures.
"They do a fantastic job, we're just trying to help them bring structure to the organization and assess some future needs," he said.
Steve Allred, president of the Athletics Commission, said he welcomes assistance from the Lottery Commission.
"We have needed this for a long time. We just need that structure behind us to help us," he said.
The commission is preparing to launch a website next week. Allred has said promoters and fighters call him at home with questions about licenses and other information. That information soon will be available online.
He said the commission has never had the budget to hire support staff. But under the memorandum of understanding with the state Lottery Commission, members now have more resources to do their job.