CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University has suspended plans to award a lucrative media rights contract to IMG College and West Virginia Media Holdings.
The university started a review of the pending contract last week after Morgantown businessman John Raese raised questions about the proposed deal -- valued at $110 million over 12 years.
"It appears clear to me that WVU, in their procurement process, didn't follow their own rules," said Bob Gwynne, a lawyer for Raese-owned Greer Industries.
WVU spokesman Becky Lofstead declined comment Wednesday, citing the ongoing contract review.
Last week, Raese sent an accusatory letter to WVU President James Clements about the proposed third-tier media rights contract. Raese alleged that top WVU officials created "an appearance of impropriety" and violated a written pact to keep confidential the pending contract.
Raese said athletic director Oliver Luck and Board of Governors Chairman Drew Payne disclosed details about the media rights deal.
Payne, who has acknowledged talking to Luck about the contract, serves on West Virginia Media Holdings' board of directors and had a major stake in the company until last year. Payne, who stands to benefit financially from the contract, has repeatedly said he played no role in the deal.
WVU board member Dave Alvarez also owns shares of West Virginia Media, according to a list of company shareholders.