WVU AD Luck will not be on new Tier 3 evaluation committee
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Following Monday's decision to rebid the athletic department's multimedia rights contract, West Virginia University said Wednesday it will announce the members of a "reconstituted" evaluation committee "in the near future."
WVU Vice President for University Relations Becky Lofstead told the Charleston Daily Mail that none of the six members on the previous committee will be reappointed, including Athletic Director Oliver Luck.
"As President (Jim) Clements has said, the goal is to get this process right; we will take the time we need to address the deficiencies noted in the Attorney General's report," Lofstead said in an email.
It's the first move toward restarting the process after State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey encouraged WVU to do so Monday. Morrisey revealed a report that discovered "significant errors and sloppiness" in WVU's initial undertaking.
The original committee also included Deputy Director of Athletics Mike Parsons and Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations Michael Szul. They were part of an original three-person committee that later expanded to include three additional members, each selected by Luck. Morrisey's report stated Luck, Parsons and Szul never discussed making additions to the committee.
The additions were Steve Kite, chairperson of WVU's department of geology and geography; Robert Griffith, an associate professor in the department of pharmaceutical science; and Alan Pearce, an assistant dean in the college of business and economics.
The Daily Mail asked WVU's Procurement, Contracting and Payment Services Tuesday why the additions were made and allowed, as well as questions about procedures for the evaluation committee's voting. They were referred to Lofstead and could not be answered before the end of the day.
Luck and the three additions voted in favor of awarding the contract for the Tier 3 rights to IMG College over an unnamed second finalist. Parsons and Szul didn't vote. Morrisey found that Parsons was not in favor of outsourcing the rights, while Szul had requested more information to compare IMG College to WVU's Mountaineer Sports Net, which currently manages the rights.
Morrisey said Parsons and Szul "were not afforded a timely opportunity to formally vote in favor of the winning proposal" and that changing the makeup of the committee "may have materially affected the outcome of the decision."
Luck was also said to have breached confidentiality and non-disclosure rules by providing Drew Payne, chair of the university's Board of Governors, status updates and non-substantive information about the process.
"I concur with the Attorney General's findings that these communications were improper but agree they did not impact the evaluation or selection process," Luck said in a statement Monday. "The department looks forward to the rebid."