Although it didn't indicate such in court filings, West Virginia Radio is now arguing its first bid was superior to IMG's monetarily.
Frederick Parsons, general manager of the West Virginia Radio-owned MetroNews radio network, testified the revenue-sharing agreement proposed by West Virginia Radio could have yielded $71 million to $81 million. Those numbers were never put in a response to a request for proposals, he said.
WVU board of governors attorney Jeff Wakefield noted a key advantage to the IMG deal lets WVU retain advertising rights and revenues from big-ticket clients including Coca Cola, United Bank, Nike and WVU Health Systems.
Wakefield also pressed the point that while Morgantown businessman John Raese, whose company bid on the contract, demanded that Attorney General Patrick Morrisey investigate the first attempt to award a deal in February, he refused to cooperate or provide Morrisey's office with any West Virginia Radio documents that might have helped.
West Virginia Radio attorney Bob Gwynne openly disparaged that investigation in court, saying, "That was a lawyer reviewing his client's activities."
Gwynne also testified that while the radio network had broadcast football and basketball games for 72 years under contracts, there was never a competitive bidding process until last year.
A review by Morrisey's office found "significant errors and sloppiness" in how the original deal was crafted, and WVU said afterward it would hold a second round of bidding that IMG eventually won. The initial review found two WVU board of governors members shouldn't have participated in reviewing the bids, but Morrisey said he found "no evidence of intentional wrongdoing."
IMG has argued it would be hurt by any attempt to stop the contract because it's invested more than $1 million to be ready for the upcoming football season. Since entering into the contract with WVU, IMG senior vice president Joe Potter has said it has signed 70 new sponsorship and advertising agreements totaling $2.5 million for the coming season.
Potter said those agreements would be invalidated by an injunction.The Mountaineers open at home Saturday against William & Mary.