CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A law firm known to help colleges with athletic eligibility issues charged West Virginia University more than $5,800 in July for about 25 hours of work related to a member of the football team.
The firm had worked both before it signed the contract with WVU and before the Office of the Attorney General approved the school's hiring of an outside attorney.
WVU provided a copy of invoices submitted to the school by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King. The school provided the heavily redacted invoices in response to a Daily Mail Freedom of Information Act request.
School officials won't say specifically why they need the firm, or if the firm continues to do work for WVU.
In August, WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck told the Daily Mail that the school needed outside expertise for the particular situation. WVU spokesman John Bolt later confirmed the issue involves a "technical question concerning the initial eligibility of a student athlete."
Initial eligibility refers to the academic and amateurism rules potential student athletes need to meet before competing in college athletics, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association website.
WVU signed a contract in July with Bond, Schoeneck and King, a large law firm with a collegiate sports group run by well-known attorney Mike Glazier.
Dubbed "The Cleaner" by various sports media outlets, Glazier has spearheaded the legal defense for numerous universities facing serious infractions of NCAA rules and regulations. The firm also assists schools with NCAA eligibility and compliance issues.
Glazier himself performed only a fraction of the 25.25 hours of work billed to WVU, according to the invoices.
Each invoice lists a date, the initials of an attorney who works for the firm, the number of hours worked and a description of the work performed. WVU blacked out all of the information listed under the description section. Other portions of the invoice were also redacted.
The invoice lists the initials "MSG" as putting in 15 minutes of work July 17, while "KRS" did the remaining 25 hours. Glazier is the only attorney who works in the collegiate sports group with the initials "MSG." Kyle R. Skillman, an associate with Glazier's group, is the only attorney in the group with the initials "KRS."
The invoice states the law firm is due $5,837.50. It isn't clear on the document if WVU paid the law firm.
Although the contract cites July 9 as the start date for the agreement, the law firm billed 2.75 hours of work before that date. It also billed almost 11 hours of work before the attorney general officially said WVU could hire the attorney.
On Aug. 15, Bolt said WVU received "verbal approval" to contract with the law firm before the contract was signed. On several different occasions he declined to say who granted the verbal approval.
Bolt said in a phone interview Monday the Office of the Attorney General provided the verbal approval.
In July, attorney general spokeswoman Beth Ryan said the office was not aware of any written contract entered into by WVU and the law firm prior to a written determination from the office allowing the contract dated July 26.
"The office followed the procedures of the outside counsel policy accordingly and issued its waiver on that date," Ryan said.
The policy does not state the office is allowed to provide "verbal approval" for itself or a state agency when hiring a private attorney. It also doesn't provide any ramifications if the office or a state agency ignores the policy.
Ryan declined to say what happens if the office or a state agency disregards the policy.