So here they go again on their own, without Drew Payne and Dave Alvarez and, who knows, maybe without Oliver Luck.
WVU will, as you know, re-bid the Tier 3 contract after the state’s attorney general highlighted “sloppiness” and “significant errors” in the process Monday.
But what changes? Probably very little. The Mountaineers will do the whole RFP thing again — and in retrospect, issuing one in the first place was unnecessary and ultimately problematic — and WVU will probably end up with IMG College again.
Still, there are variables to consider here.
For starters, WVU should and will be especially careful now. I don’t expect a peep about this until it’s done. Not off the record. Not in the home and garden section at Lowe’s. This will and ought to be handled in the most confidential way possible.
I still have to wonder what difference it might make to potential re-bidders who know that IMG has had (fair) access to some specific WVU data that others do not. Might WVU share all of that with every bidder just to make it uniformly fair?
Little things like that are suddenly not little, right?
And what of Luck? I’d have to think he’d be allowed to proceed with his involvement with this project because it’s his project aimed at benefiting his athletic department. But what if President Jim Clements wants to steer extraordinarily clear of any perceptions? Might he ask Luck to step aside for the moment?
IMG Worldwide is also for sale and you just don’t know what new ownership or management will do or think. A deal with IMG College certainly won’t be the same because of the term of the contracts are now different, but what if new eyes are on the old agreement and those new eyes have new ideas. Unlikely? Perhaps, but let’s not grant any assumptions now.
Even if it sounds like a WVU/IMG College partnership is inevitable.
“The Attorney General’s office report confirms that IMG College submitted the best proposal and is the best partner for representing West Virginia University’s multimedia rights.
Giangola added, “We would be eager to immediately complete discussions with WVU athletics and begin serving WVU.”
My hunch: Expect an expedited process – think weeks, not months – with the same winning bidder and similar winning bid.
Morrisey doesn’t outline specifics of the deal with IMG, but Finding No. 2 indicates that “based upon the proposals and identified criteria, the record supports the University’s decision to invite IMG College to engage in negotiations for a contract.”